Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Chinese firm buys US oil assets

Statoil deep sea search in the Gulf of Mexico
Statoil will remain the operator in the Gulf of Mexico

Chinese energy giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has bought oil assets in the US for the first time.

CNOOC bought limited stakes in four deepwater exploitation licences in the Gulf of Mexico from Norway's Statoil.

The size of the deal is secret, but Statoil said it was small.

In 2005, an $18.5bn CNOOC bid for US energy firm Unocal was withdrawn amidst concerns over the sale of strategic assets to China.

Statoil said it had acquired the US licences over the past two years, and added that it would remain the operator of the licences.

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