Thursday, November 01, 2007

Premier Oil CEO declines comment on bid speculation

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Simon Lockett, chief executive of Premier Oil PLC, declined to comment on persistent takeover speculations targeting the UK oil group, with the latest round naming oil majors Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Australia's Santos Ltd and Italy's Eni SpA as the likely predators.

'We don't comment on market rumours,' Locket told Thomson Financial News.

Analysts consider Premier Oil as an attractive bid target due to its broad exploration portfolio that spans from the North Sea to India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

In October last year, the group confirmed it received a preliminary approach from an unnamed party. Talks, however, were terminated two months later.

Shell, Mexico's Pemex and ONGC Mittal Energy, a joint venture between Oil and Natural Gas Corp and LN Mittal Group, were believed to be among those which were interested in acquiring Premier Oil.

Premier Oil shares today ended up over 6 pct at 1,240 pence.