Major stock analysts who cover Apache for several large Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, all also declined comment.
At least one of those analysts admitted off the record he was "restricted" from discussing Apache at the moment, although it was not made clear why that was the case.
CNBC reported last month that BP had hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse as investment bankers.
BP owns 26 percent of the Prudhoe Bay field, the largest in North America. ExxonMobil holds a 36 percent stake. ConocoPhillips (36 percent) and Chevron (2 percent) own the rest. It's possible that if ExxonMobil did seek permission from the Obama administration to pursue a deal with BP, it could be to merely acquire some stakes in properties that both companies currently co-own, Brinker theorized.
BP on Monday was trying to put a tighter-fitting containment system over the leaking undersea well, one which could capture close to all of the leaking oil by week's end. A permanent fix by way of relief wells was expected by the middle of next month.
The latest projected BP liability tab was, in a recent research note from Goldman Sachs, pegged at $80 billion.
Any notion that BP is in a panicked rush to raise cash is mistaken, said the banker close to BP.
"These liabilities will be paid out over a long period of time," he said. "So they do not need to act hastily."