Occidental Petroleum Corp. had its debt rating downgraded on March 18 to “junk” status by Moody’s Investors Service, as the Houston-based oil and gas producer deals with fallout over its 2019 acquisition of rival Anadarko Petroleum and the oil market collapse. 

Moody’s lowered its rating of Occidental senior unsecured debt to “Ba1” from “Baa3” and also assigned Occidental an increased “probability of default rating,” according to a March 18 news release from the New York-based bond credit rating company.

The acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum completed last August continues to burden Occidental’s balance sheet, “significantly compromising its financial flexibility to confront the collapse in oil prices,” said Andrew Brooks, Moody’s vice president, in a statement on March 18.

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