Statoil weighing offer for Whiting Petroleum-website

OSLO Thu Nov 8, 2012 3:16am EST

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OSLO Nov 8 (Reuters) - Norway's Statoil ASA has approached shale oil producer Whiting Petroleum Corp with a possible bid worth up to $7.6 billion, benzinga.com said citing unnamed sources.

Whiting has hired Bank of America to advise it on the possible bid at $65 per share, well above its $42.04 close on Wednesday, the website added.

Statoil declined to comment on the report.

Whiting and Statoil are among the top producers in the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Statoil has said it is looking to pick up further shale acreage in the United States as it aims to boost its production in the country.

Statoil aims to lift its North American production to 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020 from less than 100,000 in 2011, with around 300,000 of that coming from onshore operations.

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