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DUFF & PHELPS REAFFIRMS RATINGS ON THE LOUISIANA LAND AND EXPLORATION COMPANY

 CHICAGO, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has reaffirmed its ratings on the outstanding debt securities of The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company. The current ratings are `BBB' (Triple-B) on Louisiana Land's notes and debentures and Duff 2 on the company's commercial paper. Approximately $200 million of debt securities are affected.
 Louisiana Land has announced two acquisitions: NERCO's U.S. oil and gas operations and a 14 percent interest in the T-Block in the United Kingdom's North Sea. The acquisitions, totaling $580 million, will be funded initially with bank debt. It is management's intention to access both the equity and public debt markets to subsequently repay a portion of the bank debt.
 The acquisitions are attractive opportunities for Louisiana Land. They fit well with the company's existing operations and should provide an immediate boost to earnings and cash flow. Additionally, the acquisitions are consistent with Louisiana Land's long-term strategy of growing the company either through exploration or acquisitions.
 Although leverage will increase initially, management is committed to restoring the balance sheet to its pre-acquisition strength. The rating assumes that equity markets will be accessed and that the proceeds will be used to pay down debt. The combination of the equity offering along with strong internal cash flow should allow the company to reduce its debt ratio to pre-acquisition levels on a relatively timely basis. After past acquisitions, management demonstrated its commitment and ability to reduce leverage and we expect management to demonstrate the same commitment to reducing leverage with the current acquisitions.
 -0- 8/12/93
 /CONTACT: Matthew D. Robbins, CFA, of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3120/
 (LLX)


CO: Louisiana Land and Exploration Company ST: Louisiana IN: OIL SU: RTG

MP -- NY023 -- 2058 08/12/93 10:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 12, 1993
Words:292
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