Nexen, CNOOC Resubmit Application for U.S. Approval of Merger

Nexen and CNOOC have withdrawn and resubmitted their application for the United States to approve CNOOC's proposed $15.1 billion takeover of Canadian based exploration firm Nexen.

The companies have resubmitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) a Joint Voluntary Notice related to the acquisition, Nexen reported late Tuesday.

Nexen said in a statement that discussions between CFIUS and Nexen and CNOOC related to the merger continue, with the intent of completing the CFIUS review process "as expeditiously as possible."

The closing of the arrangement is still subject to the receipt of applicable government and regulatory approvals, including authorities in the United States, Canada, the European Union and China. Other customary closing conditions also must be satisfied or waived.

The Canadian government earlier this month extended the review period for the proposed bid to allow the government to conduct a "rigorous review" of the transaction under the Investment Canada Act. Some industry observers had pointed out that the government's decision to block Petronas' takeover of Progress Energy signaled a rise in resource nationalism and increased the likelihood that CNOOC's bid for Nexen also could face resistance.

The proposed acquisition has met with opposition from U.S. Rep Ed Markey (D-Mass) who has called on the Obama administration to block the acquisition, Dow Jones reported Sept. 18. CNOOC's acquisition of Nexen would give it access to oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico that Nexen owns.

However, CNOOC is confident its proposed acquisition of Nexen will be completed by year end, Dow Jones newswires reported Nov. 21.
 

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com

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