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Is Shell warming up BP for a friendly takeover bid?

By Alex Brummer
Last updated at 10:29 AM on 13th October 2010

Friends like these…

There has never been much love lost between British-based oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP.

But Shell chief executive Peter Voser’s attack on BP over the design of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico looks over the top.

He accused BP of using cheaper options in the drilling and claimed Shell would have handled matters differently. No doubt it would, in much the same way as it found its own creative way of measuring its oil reserves in 2004 that led to a clear-out of top management and regulatory fines.

Maybe it learnt something from that experience and now builds more safeguards into operations.

But maybe Voser has an ulterior motive. now that the maximum point of pressure for BP has passed, perhaps he is warming up shareholders, and BP chief executive Bob Dudley, for a ‘friendly’ bid.

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