China’s state-owned energy giant CNOOC says the higher oil and gas production it gained through its takeover of Calgary-based Nexen has boosted its first half profit by eight per cent.

In a controversial deal approved by the federal government last December, China National Offshore Oil Company bought Nexen for $15.1-billion US. 

The deal passed its last hurdle — approval by U.S. regulators — in February, giving CNOOC access to Canadian oilsands as well as a Nexen properties in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Nigeria.

Of the 198.1 million barrels of oil and gas CNOOC produced in the first half ending June 30, 24.8 million or 12.5 per cent were from Nexen holdings. Output was up 23 per cent.

CNOOC’s oil and gas sales rose 16 per cent to 11.8 billion yuan ($2 billion Cdn) in the January to June period compared to a year earlier, the company said.  Revenue jumped 17 per cent to 139.0 billion yuan ($23.5 billion) from 118.3 billion yuan.

Net profit for the six months ended June 30 rose eight per cent to 34.38 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) from 31.87 billion yuan a year earlier.

CEO Li Fanrong said Tuesday the company is now focused on integrating Nexen and getting ready for its listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"The integration work after the transaction has made impressive progress…The company is also actively working on the application for listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange as part of its commitment at the time of the acquisition," Li said in a statement.

The Nexen deal was the largest energy acquisition by one of China’s state-owned companies. Nexen needed a cash infusion to help it develop some of its properties, including its Long Lake oilsands project in northern Alberta.