British natural gas company says in 'advanced discussions' on possible buyout offer from Shell

IndustriesAssociated Press

BG Group PLC says it is in "advanced discussions" with Royal Dutch Shell PLC about a possible offer from Shell to buy the British natural gas producer.

The company said late Tuesday that there is no certainty that a deal will be struck. It gave no further details.

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Representatives for Shell, which is Europe's largest oil company by market value, declined to comment.

The statement from BG Group followed a Wall Street Journal report that said the deal could be valued at around $50 billion.

Energy companies are looking to reduce costs and become more efficient in the wake of tumbling oil prices. One route is through consolidation.

Last November, Halliburton said it would pay $34.6 billion for rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes.