The evergreen rumor that Shell could be looking to buy BP returned to the market Tuesday -- and sent share prices of both companies higher.
Ever since Lord Browne, BP's former chief executive, confirmed in his 2010 memoir that cautious talks to this effect took place in 2004, the potential megamerger of the two London-listed oil giants has whetted appetites in the markets.
Yet BP and Shell declined to comment on the rumor, and industry sources were sceptical of the deal. Neither company appears to have retained new banking advisers, often a sign that a deal may be on its way.
So why is this rumor resurfacing now?