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LONDON -- Oil giant BP Plc said it is not in merger talks with rival Royal Dutch Shell, denying a perennial market rumor which resurfaced a few weeks ago, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, two British papers -- The London Times and The Daily Mail -- simultaneously reported that Britain's two largest oil companies had engaged financial advisors to discuss terms for a so-called friendly merger that could result in £2.5 billion [$5.04 billion U.S.] of cost savings for the combined group.
According to the Times, BP was thought to have approached Shell last year, under its former CEO John Browne, and had reportedly rekindled those plans under current CEO Tony Hayward. The combined company would produce over 70 percent more oil and gas than oil giant ExxonMobil, the report had stated.
However, Hayward told reporters this week that those reports are untrue.