Credit rating reduced

December 7, 1998, 08:00 CET

A slight reduction in Statoil's credit rating has been made by US rating agency Standard & Poors.

The decision to downgrade the group from AA+ to AA largely reflects low oil prices and the big investment required by Statoil's heavy commitment to expansion over the past two years.

However, the present rating is still very good and wholly in line with a corresponding assessment carried out in April by Moody's, another international credit rating agency.

Statoil is well placed by comparison with other international oil companies rated by these bodies.

The highest rating given by Standard & Poors is AAA, which is held by both Exxon and Shell.

"It's difficult to determine what effect such a change might have," says Jan Hauge, who handles long-term loans in Finance. "But we anticipate that it will have little impact on our borrowing costs."