) -- Shares of

Anadarko Petroleum

(APC) - Get Report

have eclipsed the $60 mark for the first time since May. Market chatter about a sale by Kosmos Energy of its stake in Ghana oil assets, where Anadarko is also an owner, may be behind the spike in Anadarko shares.

Anadarko shares reached the $61.60 mark in the early afternoon on Friday and were up close to 5%, the biggest gain in the S&P 500 Index. Trading in Anadarko shares was more than 2 million above its average daily volume.


reported on Friday that Chinese energy giant


(CEO) - Get Report

was joining with the

Ghana National Petroleum Company

to make a $5 billion bid for the Kosmos' assets in Ghana, which includes a 24% stake in the Jubilee oil field, where Anadarko is also a 24% owner. Jubilee is one of the largest recent discoveries in the global oil market. The wire service cited sources "close to the deal."

It's not only the fact that Kosmos is selling, but that the Chinese are willing to pay $5 billion and have the cooperation of the Ghana national oil company in the bid.

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

had failed in its bid to buy the Kosmos assets in Ghana during the summer. Exxon had been offering $4 billion. The fact that CNOOC has the involvement of the Ghana national oil company makes getting a deal done more likely, according to one industry analyst.

For Anadarko, the spike in trading is related to the deal premium of $1 billion over the Exxon offer. It's not that Anadarko is looking to sell its stake, but that the Chinese are willing to pay $1 billion more than Exxon had offered to Kosmos for assets in the same field where Anadarko is an owner.

"If if gets sold, it puts a value on what Anadarko owns too. There's no official release on the deal, but that's what's driving trading in Anadarko today," said one industry analyst.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.


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