Northern Oil and Gas Upgraded But Refinancing Risk Persists

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On December 8, 2020, S&P Global Ratings raised its issuer credit rating on Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. to CCC+ from SD (selective default) and its 2023 issue-level rating to B from D. The Company has a history of distressed exchanges and could find it difficult to refinance its 2023 notes given its tight liquidity and the current commodity price environment, according to the ratings agency. The Company has recently repurchased at least $130 million of the principal amount on its 2023 notes cumulatively since early 2020 for 95% of the original par value with a combination of preferred stock, cash and common equity. S&P Global believes there is a risk of further exchanges it would view as distressed, given the Company's thin liquidity and upcoming debt maturities. As of November 5, 2020, Northern Oil and Gas's $660 million credit facility had 83% drawn at $550 million. After being lowered this past spring from $800 million, banks reaffirmed the $660 million borrowing base in the fall.

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