China National Offshore Oil Corp. in July offered to take over Nexen for $15 billion. Around 90 percent of the Nexen shareholders voted in favor of the deal last month. The company said the terms of the agreement with CNOOC are subject to the approval of the provincial government of Alberta.
Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said the government's review period for the proposed acquisition was extended by 30 days. The transaction, he said, is undergoing "rigorous review."
While such extensions aren't unusual, another extension could be granted at any time during the review period, he said.
He gave no further justification for the extension. Neither of the company's involved offered a public comment about the minister's decision.
Chinese Ambassador to Canada Zhang Junsai had told The Globe and Mail newspaper from Ottawa that the proposal should be weighed against economic interests alone.
"(The Nexen deal) should not be politicized," he said.
CNOOC, under the terms of the proposal, would set up its regional headquarters in Calgary. The company would take on Nexen's assets in Canada, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and the British North Sea.
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