The CNOOC-Nexen deal

A decision due from the Canadian government will influence the competitive framework for oil and gas investment around the world. No matter how Ottawa rules on the proposal by CNOOC Ltd. to buy Nexen Inc. for $15.1 billion, the Chinese company and other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will continue to invest in oil and gas projects, Canadian and otherwise. They have capital. Energy projects need capital. The two will come together. It's the interplay between an acquisitive SOE and a host-country government that bears attention. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed appropriate caution when he warned Canadians not to assume his government will approve the deal, despite its earlie...

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