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Shell mulled BP takeover in past 2 years: report

By MarketWatch

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) has considered a takeover of BP PLC BP -0.16% during the past two years, Shell chief executive Peter Voser says in the advance release of an interview with the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to be published Saturday.

“I can’t imagine that there was anyone in our industry that didn’t have a look at it, at the end of the day we’re all business people,” Mr. Voser is quoted as saying.

Mr. Voser notes that following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, BP’s share price fell sharply, and still hasn’t completely recovered.

Mr. Voser declines to comment on whether Shell is interested in BP now, but he notes that Shell isn’t depending on a large takeover.

He also warns that Europe shouldn’t reject fracking as a means of extracting natural gas from shale.

“Europe should know that it’s about the competitiveness of its industry,” he says.

The U.S. has gained immense industrial benefits from lower natural gas prices over the past few years, he adds.

The gas price there has fallen after the U.S. allowed its shale gas reserves to be exploited using the controversial process known as fracking or hydraulic fracturing. However, in Germany and many other European countries there is strong resistance to fracking due to environmental concerns.

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