Following the Shell-BG deal, could Exxon bid for BP?

Even taking Exxon’s recent chest beating about its appetite for deals, it seems unlikely

Another day, another tide of speculation sweeps through the City investment banks about oil industry takeovers following Shell's £47 billion bid for BG, the UK's third largest energy supplier.

Even that old saw about Exxon dispatching its galleons across the Channel to buy BP was being punted around by some brokers this morning. Forgive me if history proves me a fool, but, even taking Exxon’s recent chest beating about its appetite for deals, it seems unlikely.

For starters, monopoly regulators would force such a vast company to sell huge amounts of their combined assets, negating the whole point to a deal. Second, Exxon has just painfully extricated itself from its joint exploration project in Russia thanks to US sanctions. It’s hardly likely to jump back into bed with the biggest western operator there. Third, there’s the small matter of the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill litigation.

Deals will come, but not this one.

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