TORONTO (AP) - Canada has approved China's biggest overseas energy acquisition, a $15.1 billion takeover by state-owned CNOOC of Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen, but is promising to review rules for future deals. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has been studying whether CNOOC's deal and a smaller foreign takeover, Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas' $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy, represent a "net benefit" to the country. The Harper government also approved the Petronas deal on Friday.
Many expected the reviews to shed light on Canada's policy toward foreign takeovers, particularly when the foreign company is owned by the state. Concerns have been raised that approvals could lead to a flood of deals that put control of Canada's vast energy in foreign hands.