At some point at some price yes. I think the market and oil will have shown its at a bottom when a big oil picks up a larger company like tlm. At some point in time they will determine buying tlm and its barrels in the ground will be cheaper than exploration, of course they will factor in exploration risk/reward and that prospect for tlm as well. Still tlm will have to be pretty cheap for a big oil to abandon some exploration capital to pick it up. Of all the industries that have trouble doing acquisitions due to credit crisis the big oils are hurt the least. so maybe a buy out, but at what price and when? There may be better deals out there as well. interesting to watch.
My guess would be China might like the tlm assets in their part of the world, but i dont know if their north sea assets will be given much value. I am not sure but dont think at this weak price of oil the tlm north sea assetsa are worth that much. I think the tlm people assets are worth a lot to a developing oil industry. The ability of tlm to find and get production built is perhaps over looked in its valuation.
todays action looks like some think it is soon - been thru that before with TLM but..prices are so low now that MA in E&P is going to happen will watch vol and stock price moves next few weeks perhaps some smoke??
A buy up of a company the size of tlm will signal the bottom of the price of oil. Big oil is going to have to be convinced they can buy barrels in the ground below their find and development cost before they shift budget from the drill to acquisition, and that the target company is oversold to the max. Maybe oil goes a little bit lower yet, and which one is at the best bargain? No doubt tlm is a prime target and the giants like xom have got to ensure they replace rli somehow. I think pcz would be a better bargain but it can not be taken over due to Government regulation (act), so tlm maybe high on the list.