UPDATE 1-Canada minister says CNOOC deadline could be extended

Wed Dec 5, 2012 1:26pm EST

* Acknowledges possibility of extending deadline

* Says decisions will be fairly soon

* Nexen, Progress shares fall

OTTAWA, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis on Monday acknowledged the possibility of extending the Dec. 10 deadline for deciding on CNOOC Ltd's bid for Nexen Inc, but said he was not trying to send a signal on the deal.

Paradis repeatedly told reporters he would not speculate on the timing of his decision on whether to approve the Chinese company's offer, or a bid by Malaysia's Petronas for Progress Energy Resources Corp.

But when a journalist pointed out the Dec. 10 deadline for deciding on the CNOOC offer, Paradis said: "This is a deadline that could be extended, but once again, I won't speculate and ... I don't want to send a signal. When the decisions are made and are ready to be announced, this will be done. Don't interpret anything from what I'm saying here."

It has always been known the government could extend the deadline beyond Dec. 10 if CNOOC and Nexen agree, but markets have mostly assumed the deadline would stand.

Nexen and Progress shares fell immediately on his remarks.

When a reporter pointed out to him that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said hours earlier that the decisions would come down "fairly soon", Paradis responded: "If Mr Flaherty says that, so (then) it's fairly soon. But I think I'm the reviewer here so I cannot send any signal, I don't want any speculation here. The only thing I can say: it's under review and when we are ready to go out I will go out."

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
Zorro21c wrote:
Don’t be penny wise pound foolish. Once the Chinese get their feet in and with China state fund, after they get the technologies they will wipe out all small oil and gas companies like they did in the manufacturing industries with their imported cheap Chinese labor force.

Dec 05, 2012 2:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.