Alberta Premier Alison Redford says Ottawa’s review of the China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s proposed takeover of Calgary-based Nexen is "moving along," and that the province respects that the federal government is "thinking through" its long-term approach to foreign investment.
"I haven’t heard anything," Redford told journalists after speaking at a business conference in Toronto. Describing it as ‘‘an important investment for Alberta and for Canada.’’
Redford said "we understand that it’s moving along and everything is being considered."
The federal government has said it is developing new guidelines for foreign takeovers as it reviews the offer to determine whether it produces net benefits for Canada.
It has extended the deadline for completing the review twice, with the new date being Dec. 10.
Bloomberg has reported that Redford has set conditions for the takeover, including that at least half of the directorships and management positions be held by Canadians, something which the news service said CNOOC has accepted.
Deal wouldn't affect CNOOC rating
Also Tuesday, credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s re-affirmed its assessment of CNOOC’s creditworthiness as AA-, and said that would not be affected by increased borrowing should the $15.1 billion US bid, which was made four months ago, be approved by regulators.
S&P expects the deal would increase CNOOC’s proven reserves by about 30 per cent and production by about 20 per cent.
The proposal is also being reviewed by American authorities.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been reviewing the implications for national security of having a Chinese state-owned oil company acquiring Nexen's American properties, including those in the Gulf of Mexico.
Almost half of Nexen’s production comes from the North Sea, another 20 per cent from Alberta’s oilsands and the bulk of the remainder from conventional wells in Canada and the U.S., as well as from offshore West Africa.
Nexen shares closed down 55 cents, or 2.23 per cent, at $24.10 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.