HONG KONG, March 2 Chinese oil giant CNOOC Ltd
has agreed to changes its oil-drilling leases in the
Gulf of Mexico to quell U.S. national security concerns as a
condition for U.S. approval of its $15 billion buyout of
Canada's Nexen Inc.
The "most significant" term of the agreement involves
removing CNOOC as site operator, Bloomberg reported, citing an
email to employees from Peter Addy, the president of Nexen's
The Wall Street Journal reported the new structure may be
similar to those where a majority owner retains the bulk of
profits and finances most of the costs, while minority
stakeholders serve as the primary site operators.
CNOOC and Nexen executives had declined to give details of
what they had to do to satisfy the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the United States (CFIUS) following its extended
The deal needed U.S. approval because Nexen owned more than
200 drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, a key oil supply to
the world's largest economy.
State-owned CNOOC could not be immediately reached for
comment on Saturday.
Li Fanrong, CNOOC's chief executive, said on Feb. 27 that
the leader of its Canadian unit had freedom to run operations
after the contentious deal had closed two days earlier.
Originally announced in July, China's largest-ever foreign
takeover won approval from Canadian regulators in December, but
only overcame its last major hurdle in early February when the
deal was cleared by the CFIUS.
(Reporting by Clement Tan; Additional reporting by Charlie Zhu;
Editing by Robert Birsel)