BOGOTA, Jan. 31, 2016 /CNW/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC; TSX: ECP) ("Ecopetrol" or the "Company") reports that the risk rating agency Standard and Poors has maintained Ecopetrol's long-term foreign currency rating at BBB and has downgraded its outlook from stable to negative. Therefore, the Company retains its investment grade rating.
In its report, Standard and Poors emphasizes the austerity and cost efficiency measures taken by the Company to address and mitigate the effects of the current low oil price environment. It also notes the very high likelihood that, given Ecopetrol's strategic importance for Colombia, the Colombian government would provide assistance to the Company if needed.
Standard and Poors deems the Company's liquidity resources over the next 12 months to be adequate, estimating that the sources of liquidity will exceed their uses 1.2 times, and believes the Company will continue to have good access to financing resources through the capital markets.
Finally, Ecopetrol's stand-alone credit profile, which does not include the government's implicit support, was downgraded from bbb- to bb. This decision was based on the expectation that the Company's credit metrics will likely be weaker because of lower hydrocarbon price assumptions by the rating agency.
The complete report is available for viewing on http://www.standardandpoors.com/
Ecopetrol is the largest company in Colombia and is an integrated oil & gas company; it is among the top 50 oil companies in the world and among the four top ones in Latin America. Besides Colombia - where it generates over 60% of the national production - it has exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru & the US (Gulf of Mexico). Ecopetrol owns the largest refinery in Colombia and most of the pipeline and multi-product pipeline network in the country, and is significantly increasing its participation in bio-fuels.
This release contains statements that may be considered forward looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All forward-looking statements, whether made in this release or in future filings or press releases or orally, address matters that involve risks and uncertainties, including in respect of the Company's prospects for growth and its ongoing access to capital to fund the Company's business plan, among others. Consequently, changes in the following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements: market prices of oil & gas, our exploration and production activities, market conditions, applicable regulations, the exchange rate, the Company's competitiveness and the performance of Colombia's economy and industry, to mention a few. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
For further information, please contact:
Head of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
Maria Catalina Escobar
Media Relations (Colombia)
Jorge Mauricio Tellez
SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.