UPDATE 3-CNOOC confident of Nexen deal approval despite extension

Fri Nov 9, 2012 2:55pm EST
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* Canada extended review by a month to Dec. 10

* CNOOC chairman says extension no surprise

* CNOOC chairman says confident deal will go through

BEIJING, Nov 9 (Reuters) - CNOOC Ltd, China's top offshore oil and gas producer, said it is confident of winning regulatory approval from Canada this year for its $15.1 billion bid for Nexen Inc, even though Ottawa has extended its review of the deal twice.

CNOOC launched China's richest foreign takeover bid in July when it agreed to buy Nexen, a Canadian oil and gas producer. But the success of its bid began to look shaky after Canada held up Malaysian state oil company Petronas' $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy Resources Corp.

Canada has been conducting a review to determine whether a takeover by the Chinese state-owned enterprise would bring a "net benefit" to Canada. Ottawa said on Nov. 2 that it had extended the review by a month to Dec. 10.

The extension was not a surprise, CNOOC Chairman Wang Yilin said on Friday.

"It is a big acquisition worth $15.1 billion. It would be our biggest-ever overseas acquisition, and because of the sheer size of the project, the government and relevant authorities ... will need to handle large amounts of review work," he said.

"We are fully confident that the deal will succeed," Wang told reporters on the sidelines of the Communist Party congress in Beijing. "We expect the transaction to be completed by the year-end."   Continued...