Muscat, 12 July 2023:
Fitch Ratings, the international credit rating agency, has upgraded OQ’s standalone credit profile (SCP) from “b+” to “bbb-” and reaffirmed the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘BB’, with positive outlook, this represents a significant improvement as OQ is now rated as investment grade. It attributed the new rating to OQ’s ability to meet its long-term financial obligations.
Fitch highlighted the exceptional achievements of the OQ Group, including reducing its debt as part of the Balance Sheet Optimisation programme, which demonstrated a committed approach to financial discipline. The credit rating agency shed light on the improved EBITDA net leverage ratios, establishment of financial policy and increased hydrocarbon production among the significant achievements that contributed to the improved SCP.
OQ’s rating is further bolstered by its diverse operations across exploration, production, refining, marketing, petrochemical segments, with focus on energy transition going forward, as well as the key role of the company as a national champion for clean energy.
The positive recognition reflects the unwavering commitment to excellence and positions OQ as a strong player in the industry. The agency also emphasised OQ’s proactive management of its balance sheet, leveraging strong cash flow generation and proceeds from asset sales to prepay debt. This positive shift in financial performance is largely attributed to the successful execution of the Group’s projects and robust financial performance due to higher oil and gas prices.