CALGARY — Standard and Poor's says the picture is getting worse for six Canadian oil and gas names.

The credit rating agency says it has taken what it calls negative ratings actions on two big companies — Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) and Husky Energy (TSX:HSE) — along with four smaller ones.

Husky and Cenovus maintain their investment-grade ratings, but Cenovus' rating has been lowered a notch and the outlook for Husky has been changed from stable to negative.

Standard and Poor's says the changes reflect the greater risk resulting from persistent weakness in oil and natural gas prices.

The agency has also singled out four so-called speculative Canadian energy firms: Harvest Operations, Jupiter Resources, Bellatrix Exploration (TSX:BXE) and Lightstream Resources (TSX:LTS).

Harvest, Jupiter and Bellatrix have had their ratings lowered, while Lightstream's outlook has changed from stable to negative.

The Canadian Press

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