FRANKFURT Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) considered making a bid for rival BP (BP.L) in the past two years, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in an advance copy of its Saturday edition.
Chief Executive Peter Voser told the newspaper, "I can't imagine that there is anybody in our industry who did not look into this scenario. At the end of the day we are all business people."
Asked whether Shell was currently interested in BP, Voser told the paper: "No comment."
A Shell spokesman confirmed Voser's comments, but declined to make any further comments. BP declined to comment.
Shares in BP lost more than 50 percent of their value in the days after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
BP last month agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties, including a record $1.256 billion criminal fine.
The shares, at 426.81 pence, are still down more than a third from levels just before the spill.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Harro ten Wolde in Frankfurt and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters and Dan Grebler)