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Cnooc Chairman Confident Nexen Deal Done by Year End

Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and natural gas producer, said it’s confident its proposed $15.1 billion takeover of Canada’s Nexen Inc. will be completed by the end of the year.

“We are fully confident of a successful transaction,” Chairman Wang Yilin said at a meeting held as part of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress in Beijing today. “We expect the deal will be done by the end of 2012.”

Canada extended its review of state-owned Cnooc’s bid for the second time on Nov. 2, resetting the deadline to Dec. 10 and citing the need for a thorough review.

“We think this is normal,” Wang said today. “It’s such a big acquisition.”

Cnooc shares fell 0.6 percent to HK$15.98 as of 11:59 a.m. in Hong Kong trading, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 0.4 percent. Nexen shares rose 2.7 percent to US$24.14 in New York at 1:04 p.m., 12 percent below Cnooc’s US$27.50 per-share offer price.

A takeover of Nexen would add around 200,000 barrels a day, or more than 70 million barrels a year to Cnooc’s output. The Beijing-based company last month raised its 2012 net production target as much as 1.5 percent to 245 million barrels.

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