Italian energy company Eni is in preliminary talks to buy private-equity backed gas and oil producer Neptune Energy (Neptune), a deal that could be worth between $5-6bn, reported Reuters, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.
Discussions are currently at an early stage and an official bid has not been submitted, according to the source.
Both Eni and Neptune have so far declined to comment.
Neptune produces around 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from fields in eight countries and runs extensive operations in the UK Southern North Sea.
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