NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Shares of DuPont Co. climbed more than two points in pre-market trading Monday, sparked by a report that the chemicals giant is about to sell its Conoco oil unit.
According to a British newspaper, French oil concern Elf Aquitaine wants to buy Conoco for $24 billion. DuPont and Elf Aquitaine (ELF) have declined to comment on the report.
DuPont (DD) shares climbed to 55-3/8 in pre-market trading, up 2-1/8 from Friday's close of 53-1/4.
The report comes less than one week after British Petroleum PLC said it would acquire Amoco for $48 billion. That deal spurred speculation among some analysts of further consolidation in the oil industry.
Earlier this year, DuPont announced plans to spin-off 20 percent of Conoco, then sell off the remaining 80 percent over the next several years.
Conoco, which DuPont acquired in 1981, is the ninth-largest oil company in the United States, with revenues of approximately $22 billion.