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S&P raises outlook for BP despite Gulf of Mexico spill's payout costs

LONDON -- Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Tuesday raised its outlook for British energy group BP to “positive” from “stable,” reflecting improved financial health despite huge Gulf of Mexico spill costs.

“Standard & Poor's Rating Services said today that it revised its outlook on UK-domiciled oil and gas major BP PLC to positive from stable.

“At the same time, we affirmed our 'A/A-1' long- and short-term corporate credit ratings on the group,” the agency said in a statement.

“The outlook revision reflects BP's strengthening financial risk profile, despite continuing material payments arising from the Macondo well oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

“We see the annual payments likely declining over 2012 and 2013, while asset sales and medium-term production growth should help to improve the group's credit metrics,” S&P added.

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