Can you imagine the scale and efficiency saving that XOM or Chevron can obtain with a partnership or buyout of BP. That is why they are willing to pay big premium. If not for the spill, BP would not even be for sale to these oil giants. XOM and Chevron need to acquire to compete with China Petroleum. Otherwise, the Chinese will own 40%-50% of world energy sources in 5 years . . bad for US national security.