Markey seeks change on royalty-free deals

Feb. 13, 2013 at 5:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said he'd push a bill that would prevent deals like Canada's Nexen acquisition by China National Offshore Oil Corp.

Markey, the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, said his measure would block takeovers that involve royalty-free properties.

"Chinese government-owned oil corporations should not be allowed to drill for American oil in the Gulf of Mexico without paying a dime in royalties to U.S. taxpayers," he said in a statement.

The board at CNOOC announced it's been given formal approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to proceed with its proposed acquisition of Canadian energy company Nexen.

CNOOC in July offered to take over Nexen for $15 billion. Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis in December approved of the takeover proposal, ending the Canadian approval process.

The U.S. government needed to review the deal because Nexen has operations in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Lawmakers, including Markey, expressed concern about the deal, saying it could equate to a major U.S. wealth transfer.

CNOOC said Calgary would serve as its headquarters for North and Central American operations once the deal closes.

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