Nexen says it expects CNOOC approval this year

CALGARY, Alberta -- Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen says it continues to expect the $15.1 billion takeover of the company by Chinese state-owned CNOOC to be completed by the end of the year. It would be China's biggest overseas energy acquisition.

The Canadian government is in the process of studying whether the deal represents a "net benefit" to the country. The deal is expected to shed some light on the government's policy toward foreign takeovers, particularly when state-owned companies are involved.

Nexen noted Thursday in its earnings report that July's agreement with CNOOC has been approved by its shareholders and that the closing remains subject to regulatory approvals.

The review process is expected to last until mid-November, after which it may be extended by further 30-day increments with the buyer's consent.