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Anadarko shares surge on bid speculation

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Shares of U.S. oil and gas company Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC-N) jumped Thursday on market talk that a bid from BHP Billiton Ltd was in the works.

Rumours resurfaced that BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP-N) is lining up an offer for the company. The Daily Mail reported that Billiton may offer $90 US per share. The UK newspaper did not cite its sources.

A spokesman for Anadarko was not immediately available to comment.

"It's not new but for whatever reason it's finding traction again this morning," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Shares of Houston-based Anadarko eclipsed a high of $74.74 US reached on April 20, five days before the rig explosion and oil spill that spewed more than 4 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

Anadarko owns 25 percent of the ruptured Macondo well that BP operated. The U.S. oil and gas company has pinned blame for the accident on BP.

After the spill, shares of Anadarko slid to a low of $34.54 US as investors worried over the company's liability in the disaster that left 11 workers dead and caused the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.

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