Canada's Industry Minister Christian Paradis
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Alberta Enterprise Group, the federal industry minister said the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Company's (CANOOC) friendly takeover isn't a done deal.
"I want to emphasize the fact that Canadians should not prejudge the decision. We'll scrutinize this review and we will make sure that whatever happens is (for) the benefit of Canada," Paradis told the group of business leaders.
"Any investment made in Canada has to provide a net benefit to this country - this is the criteria to be applied," he said.
The federal Competition Bureau will examine the deal as well. CNOOC has picked up interests in a number of Canadian companies in recent years. The Nexen deal would dwarf the total $2.8 billion in capital the company has invested in Canada since 2005, with stakes in MEG Energy Inc., OPTI Canada Inc. (Nexen's partner in the Long Lake steam-assisted gravity drainage production facilities), and a controlling interest in Northern Cross (Yukon) Ltd., according to Nexen's website.
The acquisition of Nexen has raised alarms among American politicians because of the company's footprint in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in some of the world's most significant oil and gas producing nations, including Great Britain's North Sea and offshore Nigeria.
Paradis wouldn't comment on American efforts to lobby against the Nexen-CNOOC deal. The Harper government has blocked just two foreign takeovers - a potash firm's proposed sale to an Australian firm and an aerospace company's proposed sale to an American firm.