U.S. review will not affect Canada review of CNOOC's Nexen bid

CALGARY, Alberta Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:05pm EST

CALGARY, Alberta Nov 29 (Reuters) - Canada's government said on Thursday that pending U.S. approvals for CNOOC Ltd's $15.1 billion bid for Nexen Inc will not affect its own review of the transaction.

A spokeswoman for Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that under the Investment Canada Act (ICA), the government's review of the bid is not altered by the two companies' decision earlier this week to refile their application to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. (CFIUS)

"Under the ICA, the Minister of Industry is primarily concerned with the impact of the investment on activities and operations in Canada," Shawna Moore said in an email.

The Canadian government has until Dec. 10 to decide whether it will approve CNOOC's acquisition of Nexen, a Canadian oil producer with assets in the oil sands, the Gulf of Mexico, Yemen, the North Sea and offshore West Africa.

However that timetable can be extended if CNOOC and Nexen agree.

If approved, the deal would be China's biggest-ever foreign acquisition.

The companies filed for approval by CFIUS, an eight-member panel chaired by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, because Nexen has extensive operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.