Norwegian oil giant Statoil weighs $7.6 billion purchase of Whiting Petroleum: report

Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA is in talks to buy US shale oil producer Whiting Petroleum Corp in a deal worth up to $7.6 billion, online financial media outllet today reported, citing unnamed sources.

Whiting has hired Bank of America to advise on a possible sale at $65 per share, the report said.

Denver, Colorado-based Whiting Petroleum is an independent oil and gas company that acquires, develops and explores for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, primarily in the Rocky Mountain states, the Permian Basin, Mid-Continent, the Gulf Coast and Michigan regions of the US.

Co-founded in 1980 by Kenneth Whiting and Bert Ladd, the company merged in 1993 with Keba Oil & Gas and Hingeline-Overthrust to become a listed company.

In 1992, Alliant Energy, a Midwest public utility, acquired Whiting Petroleum for $27.5 million, only to become a public company once again in 2003.

It has proven reserves of 345.2 mmboe as of 31 December 2011, and produced a record 24.8 mmboe, or 67,890 boe per day.