March 20, 2012 / 3:22 PM / 6 years ago

TEXT-S&P raises Carrizo Oil notes to 'B'

March 20 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it raised it issue
rating on Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc.'s (Carrizo) senior
unsecured notes to 'B' (same as the corporate credit rating on the company) from
'B-', and revised its recovery rating on the notes to '4' from '5', indicating
our expectation of average (30% to 50%) recovery in the event of a payment
default. The 'B' corporate credit rating on the company remains unchanged.	
	
The improved recovery expectation reflects an updated valuation of Carrizo's 	
midyear 2012 reserves following recent reserve development despite the 	
divestiture of a portion of the company's properties in the Barnett Shale. Our 	
updated valuation is based on a company-provided PV10 report, using Standard & 	
Poor's recovery methodology and stressed price deck assumptions of $45 per 	
barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude oil and $4 per million Btu for Henry 	
Hub natural gas. This update results in a modest increase to the valuation, 	
triggering the revision in our recovery rating. 	
	
The upgrade on the notes reflects the higher recovery rating, which previously 	
had been one notch down from the corporate credit rating.	
	
The ratings on Carrizo reflect what Standard & Poor's categorizes as Carrizo's 	
"aggressive" financial risk and "vulnerable" business risk, as our criteria 	
define the terms. With current leverage of 4.2x at year-end 2011, Carrizo has 	
a levered balance sheet, but we expect this ratio to decrease to below 3.5x in 	
2012 as the company ramps up production and continues to switch to more 	
liquids-rich production. As a participant in the highly cyclical and 	
competitive oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) industry, Carrizo is 	
susceptible to commodity prices, particularly with respect to natural gas, the 	
company's principal product and one that continues to suffer from weak prices. 	
Finally, ratings reflect Carrizo's modest-sized reserve and production base 	
concentrated in a few resource plays.	
	
RELATED RESEARCH AND CRITERIA	
	
     -- Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011	
     -- Criteria Guidelines For Recovery Ratings, Aug. 10, 2009.	
     -- Corporate Ratings Criteria 2008, published April 15, 2008.	
     -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008	
	
RATINGS LIST	
Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc.	
 Corporate credit rating                 B/Stable/--	
	
                                         To           From	
Upgrade; Revised Recovery Rating	
 Senior unsecured notes                  B            B-	
  Recovery rating                        4            5 	
	
	
Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on 	
the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected 	
by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at 	
www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left 	
column.

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