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CNOOC Expands Overseas Businesses with Acquisition of Nexen (Canada)

CNOOC Limited and Nexen Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which CNOOC Limited will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Nexen for US$27.50 per share in cash.

The purchase price represents a premium of 61% to the closing price of Nexen’s common shares on the NYSE on July 20, 2012, and a premium of 66% to Nexen’s 20 trading-day volume-weighted average share price. Total cash consideration of approximately US$15.1 billion will be paid for Nexen’s common and preferred shares, and Nexen’s current debt of approximately US$4.3 billion will remain outstanding. The transaction, which will be completed by way of a plan of arrangement, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The acquisition of Nexen expands CNOOC Limited’s overseas businesses and resource base in order to deliver long-term, sustainable growth. Nexen will complement CNOOC Limited’s large offshore production footprint in China and extends CNOOC Limited’s global presence with a high-quality asset base in many of the world’s most significant producing regions – including Western Canada, the U.K. North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Nigeria – focused on conventional oil and gas, oil sands and shale gas. In addition, Nexen management’s current mandate will be expanded to include all of CNOOC Limited’s North American and Caribbean assets.

Nexen had average production of 207 mboe/d (after royalties) in Q2 2012. In accordance with SEC rules, Nexen had 900 mmboe of proved reserves and 1,122 mmboe of probable reserves as of December 31, 2011. In addition, as of December 31, 2011, Nexen had best estimate contingent resources of 5.6 billion boe in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 51-101, predominantly in the Canadian oil sands.

The transaction will be funded by CNOOC Limited’s existing cash resources and external financing.

Mr. Wang Yilin, Chairman of CNOOC Limited said, “The acquisition reflects our strong belief in Nexen’s rich and diverse portfolio of assets and world-class management and employees. This is an exciting opportunity for us to build on our existing joint venture relationship with Nexen in Canada, and to acquire a leading international platform in the process. We strongly believe that this acquisition will create long-term value for CNOOC Limited’s shareholders.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Barry Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Nexen, said, “This transaction delivers significant and immediate value to Nexen shareholders. The Nexen Board is unanimous in its view that the transaction is in the best interest of Nexen and recommends shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.”

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USA: ION Unveils Calypso Seabed Acquisition System

ION Geophysical Corporation  today announced the launch of Calypso™, its next generation redeployable seabed acquisition system.

Leveraging ION’s industry-leading VectorSeis® digital sensors to deliver the same unrivaled broadband imaging, Calypso is designed to operate at twice the depth and to deliver twice the operational efficiency of its predecessor system, VectorSeis Ocean (VSO).

The seabed seismic market has grown over 250% in the last five years, with over $300 million in contracts awarded in the first quarter of 2012 alone. Prompting this tremendous growth is seabed seismic’s ability to deliver superior image quality and operate in areas of dense infrastructure. Yet, despite its increasing popularity, seabed seismic still represents a relatively small percentage of total marine seismic projects, largely due to historically high costs and long cycle times relative to towed streamer acquisition. ION’s new Calypso system has the potential to mitigate both barriers to wider adoption by doubling cable lengths and productivity while significantly expanding operating depths.

Since 2004, ION’s seabed acquisition systems have delivered the highest quality seismic data on numerous projects worldwide, including in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Caspian Sea, Middle East, offshore Brazil and West Africa. ION’s next generation Calypso system leverages ION’s award-winning VectorSeis sensor to provide the same superior imaging as VSO, but with step-change improvements in efficiency, operating depths, and flexibility:

  • Tilt-insensitive multicomponent (4C) VectorSeis sensors record broad bandwidth seismic data with superior vector fidelity, capturing richer frequency content at both the low- and high-frequency ends of the spectrum.
  • Buoy-based recording eliminates the operational expense and complexity of dedicated recording vessel(s).
  • An unlimited number of cables with twice the length (12-24 km) dramatically increases productivity and shortens cycle time.
  • The newly designed rugged system excels in water depths from 5 to 2,000 meters, providing flexibility to work in the most challenging fields and conditions.

Tim Rigsby, Vice President of Seabed at ION, commented, “ION has been committed to expanding the adoption of full-wave seabed imaging since introducing our first ocean bottom cable system, VSO, in 2004. Our goal has been to provide our clients with the superior imaging benefits of ocean bottom cable systems, at a price point closer to that of towed streamer acquisition. Calypso is a step-change in that direction.”

To learn more about Calypso, and to view an interactive multimedia presentation on the new system, visit Interact with the Calypso System

ION Geophysical Corporation is a leading provider of geophysical technology, services, and solutions for the global oil & gas industry. ION’s offerings are designed to allow E&P operators to obtain higher resolution images of the subsurface to reduce the risk of exploration and reservoir development, and to enable seismic contractors to acquire geophysical data safely and efficiently.

The information included herein contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may vary fundamentally from those described in these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements reflect numerous assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include risk factors that are disclosed by ION from time to time in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Norway: Aker Proposes Aker Floating Production Acquisition

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Norwegian conglomerate Aker said on Monday it was offering to buy Aker Floating Production , which owns and operates two ships that can produce oil and gas at offshore fields.

Aker, which already controls 72.3 percent of Aker Floating Production through a majority-owned investment firm, did not give a value for the transaction.

“Aker proposes a merger with Aker Floating Production in order to strengthen the FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) company’s balance sheet,” it said in a statement.

Aker said minority shareholders in Aker Floating Production would be offered settlement in Aker shares, and it would purchase some 115,000 Aker shares in the market for this purpose.

Reporting by Oslo newsroom (Reuters)

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