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  • Fri, Nov. 25, 12:05 PM
    • BP (BP -0.4%) acquires a 10% stake in Egypt’s Giant Zohr Gas Field for $375M, according to Bloomberg.
    • The company has an option to add another 5% stake by the end of 2017.
    • "This interest in a truly world-scale asset will complement our existing Egyptian business," noted BP CEO Bob Dudley in an e-mailed statement.
    | Fri, Nov. 25, 12:05 PM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 4, 3:17 PM
    • BP (BP +0.3%) signs a 20-year deal with the Eni-operated (E -0.5%) Area 4 concession partners to purchase liquefied natural gas from the planned Coral South floating liquefied natural gas project offshore Mozambique.
    • By guaranteeing a customer for the entire output of the big new field in the Indian Ocean, the BP contract clears the way for Eni to make its final investment decision on the multibillion-dollar project.
    • The deal also could add impetus to Eni's efforts to sell a stake in its Mozambique assets, with ExxonMobil (XOM -1%) considered the most likely buyer.
    • Eni holds a 50% stake in the Area 4 block involved in the contract, with the other half owned by China's CNPC (NYSE:PTR), Portugal's Galp Energia (OTC:GLPEF), South Korea's Kogas and Mozambique’s national oil company.
    | Tue, Oct. 4, 3:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Aug. 9, 2:41 AM
    • BP is seeking buyers for its 50% stake in petrochemicals joint venture SECCO, its single largest investment in China, in a deal that would fetch $2B-$3B, Reuters reports.
    • The sale is part of a drive to cash out of businesses where it lacks control and would mark BP's first significant exit from a business in China.
    | Tue, Aug. 9, 2:41 AM | 3 Comments
  • Nov. 9, 2015, 3:34 PM
    • Apache (APA +14.3%) shares reach their highs of the day after a report that the company had rejected a takeover offer after a suitor was lured by APA's $1.6B in cash and low leverage to help strengthen its balance sheet and fund a dividend.
    • One analyst thinks Hess (HES -0.8%) and Murphy Oil (MUR +0.5%) - with strong balance sheets and which have materially underperformed in 2015 as investors have focused on E&Ps with longer life onshore portfolios - also could be buyout targets.
    • But shares of APA’s peers have enjoyed little benefit from the report, which Heard On The Street's Spencer Jakab says suggests that the bargains on offer among North American oil and gas producers are not compelling enough to kick off a round of consolidation and that the list of buyers is short.
    • Analysts at Simmons thinks Exxon Mobil (XOM -2.1%) and BP (BP -0.5%) are the most likely prospective buyers for APA.
    | Nov. 9, 2015, 3:34 PM | 13 Comments
  • Oct. 6, 2015, 5:22 PM
    • Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's LetterOne fund is in advanced talks to acquire German utility E.ON's (OTCQX:EONGY) Norwegian North Sea assets for more than $1B, Financial Times reports.
    • The potential deal would signal a renewed push by the Russian oligarch to expand his P-E fund's oil and gas portfolio after being forced to sell his British North Sea assets because of U.S. and European sanctions.
    • E.ON owns a 28% stake in the BP-operated Skarv field, which is expected to reach peak output of 165K boe/day, as well as 30% and 17.5% stakes in two Statoil-operated (NYSE:STO) fields.
    • LetterOne, whose energy fund is run by former BP CEO John Browne, recently asked the U.K. to delay an October deadline to sell its North Sea assets after a first round of offers came in well short of expectations.
    | Oct. 6, 2015, 5:22 PM
  • Jun. 25, 2015, 12:17 PM
    • Penn Virginia (PVA +7.8%) spikes higher after a report that BP (BP +0.3%) has offered $8/share in a takeover bid for the company, and that PVA has hired BofA to help it search for potential buyers.
    • PVA is said to have rejected the offer because it believes the terms offered undervalue the company, and is holding out for at least $10/share, according to U.K. publication Proactive Investors.
    • BP rivals such as Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.1%) and Chevron (CVX -0.1%) also may be interested in buying PVA, the report says.
    | Jun. 25, 2015, 12:17 PM | 15 Comments
  • Apr. 27, 2015, 2:07 AM
    • The British government has told BP (NYSE:BP) it would oppose any potential takeover of the company, which was seriously weakened by the huge bill incurred after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and a recent plunge in oil prices.
    • Authorities acknowledge that the U.K. would have few formal powers to block a bid, but a senior City figure briefed on the government thinking said making its opposition so clear may deter any foreign company making an offer, FT reports.
    • British officials have also said the government would be skeptical about any takeover - even if it involves Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) - because it wants the country to have two big global oil companies.
    • Previously: BP's Dudley does not foresee wave of energy mergers, at least not yet (Apr. 21 2015)
    | Apr. 27, 2015, 2:07 AM | 17 Comments
  • Apr. 21, 2015, 10:15 AM
    • BP execs reportedly are concerned the company is vulnerable to a takeover bid, and they are said to have stepped up internal reviews of takeover scenarios and war-gamed defense strategies with advisers from firms including Morgan Stanley.
    • While a move for BP may seem unlikely because of still-unknown legal liabilities from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, there’s at least one good reason for BP's paranoia: Before ruling it out by going for BG, Royal Dutch Shell was said to have taken a hard look at buying BP.
    • Even a slimmed-down BP still has plenty to attract potential acquirers, including strong deepwater prospects in Angola and the Gulf of Mexico, a refining business that has outperformed peers, and an industry-leading trading outfit.
    • BP views Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) as the only realistic predators remaining, according to the report.
    | Apr. 21, 2015, 10:15 AM | 22 Comments
  • Apr. 8, 2015, 7:30 PM
    • Analysts say Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) move to buy BG Group is telling potential acquirers that one of the biggest players is now confident enough to make a big play, and that the worst may be over in the big slide in oil and gas prices.
    • The deal also may be the starting gun for a wave of M&A activity that oil industry observers have been predicting since crude prices started to slump in June.
    • For starters, BG's U.S. shale assets likely will become candidates for divestiture after the Shell deal closes; in buying BG, Shell has made the choice to double-down on global liquefied natural gas and de-emphasize U.S. shale.
    • Among the biggest players, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and BP could contemplate deals - perhaps even with each other, as has been speculated, since BP ranks among the cheapest major producers relative to estimated profit.
    • BG itself could whet the appetite of XOM's Rex Tillerson, who recently said there was "no limitation" to what he might buy - but he will be especially selective after getting burned by 2010's XTO purchase.
    • Companies with prime acreage in oil-rich shale fields in Texas, North Dakota and Colorado have become a lot cheaper in recent months; Anadarko (NYSE:APC), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Occidental (NYSE:OXY), Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) and Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF) are among those at topping analysts’ lists.
    • Galp Energia (OTC:GLPEF) may draw interest from buyers because, like BG, it offers access to oil assets in Brazil.
    | Apr. 8, 2015, 7:30 PM | 14 Comments
  • Apr. 8, 2015, 3:48 AM
    | Apr. 8, 2015, 3:48 AM | 7 Comments
  • Feb. 12, 2015, 2:14 PM
    • If Exxon Mobil (XOM +1.6%) decides to go hunting for struggling energy peers with shrinking cash flow - as it did five years ago when it acquired XTO Resources for $25B, during an energy rout worse than today's - it would need to go big or not go at all in order to meaningfully boost its oil and gas reserves, WSJ writes as it discusses BP (BP +2.1%) as a potential takeover target.
    • BP “is the obvious fit says Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey; buying BP, which is still dealing with the fallout of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, “would close out a damaged brand at a terrific price” and bolster XOM’s capacity to find new sources of oil and gas, he says.
    • Other potentially attractive targets singled out by analysts include a smaller tier of companies such as Anadarko (APC +1.9%) and BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY), which have discovered huge deposits of oil and gas but may lack the cash flow to develop them quickly.
    | Feb. 12, 2015, 2:14 PM | 37 Comments
  • Jan. 2, 2015, 2:55 PM
    • Europe largely missed out on last year's $383B in oil and gas sector M&A activity, but Europe likely will get a bigger piece of the action in 2015 if current oil prices persist, according to Reuters' Fiona Maharg-Bravo.
    • Net debt at smaller explorers such as Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY), Premier Oil (OTC:PMOIF), Afren (OTCPK:AFRNF) and EnQuest (OTC:ENQUF) could all reach 3x EBITDA if oil remains at $60/bbl through 2015, Barclays estimates.
    • BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) has long been a target, and the new CEO starts in March; BP faces big liabilities in the Gulf of Mexico and volatility in Russia, it’s not clear if Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) will make a move, while Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and other U.S. majors could be tempted.
    | Jan. 2, 2015, 2:55 PM | 6 Comments
  • Dec. 5, 2014, 10:19 AM
    • The recent history of oil price collapses shows that M&A activity typically jumps when prices fall, so WSJ says it may be time for another wave of acquisitions to sweep through the energy sector as crude oil prices have been cut by more than a third since June.
    • BP jumped by nearly 5% Tuesday on chatter that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) was going to make a bid - the rumor was not new, but it took on a new credibility in the new low price oil environment.
    • The WSJ report says several bankers believe BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) could be a target for a big company looking to get bigger.
    • Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit points out that big deals may be harder now than in the past because there are simply fewer large companies left.
    | Dec. 5, 2014, 10:19 AM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 2, 2014, 10:58 AM
    • BP (BP +2.4%) is surging higher amid market chatter of a takeover bid from Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A +1.9%).
    • "BP shares have rallied on the back of enthusiastic buying on talk of Shell's interest in the company, but it seems difficult to believe that Shell would make such a big acquisition at this difficult time for the oil market," says IG analyst Chris Beauchamp.
    | Dec. 2, 2014, 10:58 AM | 31 Comments
  • Nov. 17, 2014, 3:59 PM
    • In the wake of Halliburton's (NYSE:HAL) $34.6B offer for Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), it appears the next hot sector for M&A action is energy: More consolidation is likely, given the weakness for stocks in the oilfield services subsector, low interest rates, and as a drop in demand for oil increases cutthroat pricing competition.
    • Speculation is running rampant as investors try to figure out who is next in an industry that is sure to undergo some more consolidation; some names identified as possible candidates include Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE:KOG), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Northern Oil and Gas (NYSEMKT:NOG), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD).
    • GE could go after National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) to show it is serious about the energy industry after last year’s purchase of pumpmaker Lufkin, Royal Bank of Canada says, and Oppenheimer says even BP could be an acquisition candidate.
    • But Morgan Stanley does not see offshore drillers getting in on the action, as larger players like Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO), Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) are still addressing dividend concerns while smaller companies such as Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) and Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) still trade close to replacement value.
    | Nov. 17, 2014, 3:59 PM | 16 Comments
  • Nov. 7, 2014, 3:47 PM
    • The combination of low oil prices and the possibility for an oil spill settlement make BP (BP +0.3%) a takeover target, according to Oppenheimer analysts Fadel Gheit and Luis Amadeo.
    • The pair believes spill liabilities and Russian exposure have made BP the cheapest stock in the sector, with its implied reserve value of $12.60/bbl 55% below the peer average.
    • A merger involving BP and one of its peers would create the world’s largest oil producer and could generate $10B-plus annual cost savings, the analysts say.
    | Nov. 7, 2014, 3:47 PM | 25 Comments