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BEIJING -- The Ministry of Commerce on Monday welcomed Canada's decision to approve the China National Offshore Oil Corporation's $15.1 billion bid to buy Nexen Inc, a deal which will be China's biggest overseas acquisition ever once completed.
"The CNOOC takeover of Nexen is a normal commercial act between Chinese and Canadian enterprises. Canada's decision was in line with the companies' own needs to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation," an MOC official said.
The Canadian government on Friday approved CNOOC's purchase of Nexen, a Calgary-based oil and gas producer, more than four months after the Chinese state oil giant announced its bid.
"China hopes other governments involved in the transaction will examine the deal in an open-minded and objective way and approve the deal as soon as possible," said the MOC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The closing of the acquisition remains subject to the approvals of other governments and regulatory agencies involved, according to a CNOOC statement released Saturday.
Nexen runs oil sands and shale gas projects in western Canada and conducts conventional exploration, primarily in the British North Sea, offshore West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.
China and Canada are highly complementary to each other in terms of industrial structure and resource reserves and the two countries' cooperation in investment will benefit both economies, the MOC official said.
China hopes Canada will continue to maintain an open stance toward foreign investment, the official said.
CNOOC has said acquiring Nexen's assets will strengthen its presence in Canada, Nigeria and the Gulf of Mexico and allow it to enter the oil- and gas-rich North Sea regions.
The deal will also bring long-term economic benefits for Calgary and for Canada, CNOOC said in a Saturday statement.
As China's largest offshore oil producer, CNOOC operates mainly in seas off China, but also has assets in Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania, according to information on the company's website.