BP could enter sales negotiations as it looks to seal leaking well
ExxonMobil has discussed the implications of a deal with Barack Obama
BP could enter sales negotiations with potential buyers as it aims to finally seal the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The beleaguered firm has already spent $8 billion (£5 billion) on its clean-up operations and is aiming to permanently seal the well in mid-September.
This would make it a more attractive proposition for bidders, with firms unlikely to table a formal offer until the situation has been resolved.
Following the accident in April, the market value of BP has eroded dramatically, making it more susceptible to bids from rival firms.
US firm ExxonMobil, the biggest private oil company in the world, has been linked with a move for BP and has even discussed the implications of a deal with US president Barack Obama.
Fadel Gheit, a veteran oil analyst with the Oppenheimer brokerage in New York, claimed the move could lead to job cuts and may not be endorsed by the White House.
He told the Guardian: "The real way these mergers are made to work is by cutting costs often by massive layoffs. What politician would support that when unemployment levels are already at their highest for 40 years? It makes a lot of sense on paper but the political realities make it unlikely."