Canadian energy firm Nexen said its projects around the world would be developed faster after it was bought over by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
The Chinese state oil firm’s £9.6billion takeover of Nexen completed yesterday, seven months after the deal was first announced.
CNOOC’s acquisition was the subject of intense scrutiny in the UK, Canada and the US, where Nexen has major developments, but authorities in all three regions cleared the deal.
In a note to Nexen’s 3,000 employees, chief executive Kevin Reinhart described the deal as an “exciting new chapter for Nexen, one which I believe is filled with opportunity, growth and potential”.
He added: “By leveraging CNOOC’s considerable financial resources, global network and operational expertise, we’ll be able to move our value-adding projects forward at a much faster pace than we might have on our own.”
Mr Reinhart said Nexen would continue to operate as a standalone company despite its new ownership.
It is one of the largest UK oil producers, primarily as a result of output from the North Sea Buzzard field.
It is also developing the £2billion Golden Eagle project, which is one of the UK’s largest undeveloped fields and is thought to hold 150million recoverable barrels of oil equivalent.
Production from Golden Eagle is expected to start towards the end of next year.
In addition to Nexen’s North Sea assets, CNOOC will also take on the Canadian firm’s interests in the Gulf of Mexico and in Canada’s Alberta oil sands.
China’s biggest foreign takeover was announced last July on the same day another Chinese oil firm, Sinopec, confirmed it had acquired a 49% share of Talisman Energy’s UK North Sea business for £956million.
Sinopec’s deal completed in December, creating Talisman Sinopec Energy.