Baker Hughes said the discussions may or may not lead to any transaction. The company said it doesn't intend to comment further on market speculation or disclose any developments unless it's appropriate or required.
Goldman Sachs & Co. is advising Baker Hughes and Credit Suisse AG is assisting Halliburton, a source told The Deal earlier on Thursday. Suhail Sikhtian is leading the team from Goldman while Greg Weinberger is doing the same for Credit Suisse, the source added.
Bankers at Goldman and Credit Suisse didn't respond to requests for comment. Halliburton hasn't commented.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that a possible deal was in the works, that negotiations were moving quickly and that an agreement could be inked soon. It didn't mention a price.
Analysts think the deal could be worth anywhere from $20 billion to $26 billion, making it one of the largest energy deals in the last few years. It would also create a "juggernaut" in the oil services industry, Global Hunter Securities Inc. analyst Mark Brown wrote in a note Friday.
"We believe that this transaction would be beneficial from a competitive standpoint vis-à-vis SLB [Schlumberger Ltd.] and would make the large-cap diversified players more advantaged when bidding for IPM [integrated project management] and other international work where competitors are limited," he said.