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31

Australia Petroleum Companies Shares Gained

Woodside climbed to the highest in more than a year after ...

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained, reversing an earlier decline.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia's second-biggest oil and gas producer, and BHP Billiton Ltd. gained amid speculation of takeovers in the resources industry.

Woodside climbed to the highest in more than a year after LNG Intelligence said 34 percent shareholder Royal Dutch Shell Plc may bid for the company.

BHP rose to a record high on reports it may bid for Alcoa Inc. or Alcan Inc.

"A deal in the industry isn't out of the question considering the commodities cycle,'' said Gary Armor, who helps manage $2.9 billion at AMP Ltd. in Sydney, including BHP and Woodside.

"Woodside is a particularly attractive option but Shell would have to consider its terms very carefully if it's to clear government approval.''

Woodside, , rose 95 cents, or 2.1 percent to A$46.90, the highest since May 12, 2006.