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LOUISIANA LAND AND EXPLORATION $100 MILLION 7-5/8 PERCENT DEBENTURES DUE 2013 RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Louisiana Land and Exploration Co.'s (LL&E) $100 million of 7-5/8 percent debentures due 2013, being sold pursuant to its shelf registration, are rated `BBB+' by Fitch. The company's `BBB+' senior debt and `F-2' commercial paper ratings are affirmed. Rated senior debt totals $200 million, and $100 million remains available under a shelf registration. Commercial paper outstanding totals $36.5 million. The credit trend is stable.
 Rating are based on LL&E's strong cash flow generation and its ability to replace its hydrocarbon production under difficult industry conditions. Going forward, LL&E is poised for earnings and cash flow improvement, even if industry conditions and prices show little or no recovery. Rising production, rather than prices, will drive cash flow, generating funds for reserve replacement. Organic growth could be supplemented by acquisitions, with major ones financed so as not to distort debt leverage.
 LL&E's debt leverage has remained steady in the mid-40 percent range, ending 1992 at 45.2 percent, as the company kept spending within cash generation. Cash flow debt cover has been well-maintained, with 47.4 percent for 1992. Creditors also benefit from asset market values which well exceed debt, and from a strong current common share price. The company will use the proceeds of this offering primarily to refinance $86.5 million of debt maturing in 1993, but may use some of the proceeds to reduce commercial paper borrowings.
 LL&E, based in New Orleans, La., is a major independent oil and gas producer.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Anne Sudol, CFA of Fitch, 212-908-0562/
 (LLX)


CO: Louisiana Land and Exploration Co. ST: Louisiana IN: OIL SU: RTG

WB -- NY060 -- 5273 04/13/93 13:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1993
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