The obvious is now upon BP – it’s a viable takeover candidate. All it’s effort to be Beyond Petroleum has led Dow Jones to highlight the obvious:

BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX) and an investment bank to help it ward off takeover attempts, Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino reported Monday. Blackstone’s president and chief operating officer, Hamilton James, is working “directly” with BP officials as well as with bankers assisting the troubled oil giant. Gasparino didn’t identify the third firm.

“Everything is on the table from what I understand,” Gasparino said. Contingency plans under consideration at BP include preparing for the possibility of a hostile takeover and potential asset sales. The possibility of BP declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. is also on the table, Gasparino added, citing “Wall Street sources.”