Canada PM told of Nexen link to North Sea oil pricing: report

Thu Dec 6, 2012 10:39am EST
 

(Reuters) - A bureaucrat's note to brief Canada's prime minister on CNOOC Ltd's (0883.HK: Quote) bid for Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc NXY.TO said the takeover, if approved, would give the Chinese company a stake in an oil field that has a growing influence over world oil prices, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government is reviewing CNOOC's $15.1 billion offer for Nexen to decide if a takeover would bring a "net benefit" to Canada. The deadline for the government to announce a decision is Monday, December 10.

The memo says the Buzzard oil field, off the Scottish coast, has become more important in setting benchmark prices as production declines in other North Sea fields. Nexen holds a 43 percent stake in Buzzard.

The Bloomberg story, which appeared on its website, said the memo had been obtained under the Access to Information Act. It was prepared on August 17 by a government bureaucrat, Wayne Wouters, the report said.

Harper's office could not be reached immediately for comment.

(Reporting By Frank McGurty)

 
A man walks into the Nexen building in downtown Calgary, Alberta, July 23, 2012. REUTERS/Todd Korol