December 6, 2012 / 3:35 PM / in 5 years

Canada PM told of Nexen link to North Sea oil pricing -report

Dec 6 (Reuters) - A bureaucrat’s note to brief Canada’s prime minister on CNOOC Ltd’s bid for Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc said the takeover, if approved, would give the Chinese company a stake in an oil field that has a growing influence over world oil prices, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is reviewing CNOOC’s $15.1 billion offer for Nexen to decide if a takeover would bring a “net benefit” to Canada. The deadline for the government to announce a decision is Monday, Dec. 10.

The memo says the Buzzard oil field, off the Scottish coast, has become more important in setting benchmark prices as production declines in other North Sea fields. Nexen holds a 43 percent stake in Buzzard.

The Bloomberg story, which appeared on its website, said the memo had been obtained under the Access to Information Act. It was prepared on Aug. 17 by a government bureaucrat, Wayne Wouters, the report said.

Harper’s office could not be reached immediately for comment.

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