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Announcement:

Moody's: CNOOC's ratings unchanged after Nexen acquisition; Nexen review continues

 The document has been translated in other languages

26 Feb 2013

Singapore, February 26, 2013 -- Moody's Investors Service says that the Aa3 ratings and stable outlooks of CNOOC Ltd and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Group) will remain unchanged after CNOOC Ltd announced that it had completed its USD15 billion acquisition of Nexen Inc on 26 Feb 2013.

Moody's will continue to review for upgrade the Baa3 senior unsecured rating and Ba1 subordinated debt rating of Nexen.

"The transaction was completed according to the original terms and conditions. CNOOC Ltd obtained a USD6 billion bridge loan and funded the remaining account with cash-on-hand, which is consistent with our expectations," says Simon Wong, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

"We would like to reiterate that the acquisition will strengthen CNOOC Ltd's position as one of world's largest independent exploration and production companies and further diversify its product portfolio, in spite of its weakened credit metrics," says Wong, who is also Moody's international lead analysts for CNOOC.

"We will also continue to review for upgrade the rated debt of Nexen, pending finalization of Nexen's debt structure and the level of support by CNOOC Ltd to its bondholders, if any," says Terry Marshall, a Moody's Senior Vice President and lead analyst for Nexen.

For more details please refer to the press release dated 23 July 2012 (http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-places-Nexens-ratings-on-review-for-upgrade--PR_251491) when Moody's placed Nexen's rating on review for upgrade, and the press release dated 24 July 2012 (http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-affirms-CNOOCs-Aa3-rating-after-it-agrees-to-acquire--PR_251532 ) when Moody's affirmed the ratings of CNOOC Ltd and CNOOC Group after the Nexen deal was announced.

Based on Moody's Proforma analysis, CNOOC Ltd's retained cash flow/adjusted debt will stay at around 103% and adjusted debt/average daily production at around USD14,000/barrels of oil equivalent (boe) at end-2013.

There could be modest improvements in CNOOC Ltd's credit metrics in the short-term assuming that there are no large acquisitions. The company's credit metrics are above the downgrade triggers, and are in line with its current rating. However, the headroom for further acquisitions has become more limited.

CNOOC Ltd's liquidity position will also remain strong after the acquisition.

Moody's estimates that CNOOC Ltd should have USD7 billion to USD9 billion in cash, and other short-term investments on its balance sheet at end-2013, against its total debt of USD15 billion to USD16 billion, which includes the debt of Nexen.

CNOOC Group's Aa3 issuer rating, which is largely underpinned by CNOOC Ltd's credit profile, incorporates a very high level of support from the Chinese government.

The principal methodology used in rating these ratings was the Global Independent Exploration and Production Industry Methodology published in December 2011. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

CNOOC Ltd, incorporated in Hong Kong, is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations mainly concentrated in offshore China. It is 64.45%-owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is an integrated Chinese energy company that is wholly owned by China's State Council and ultimately the PRC. The company has substantial interests in its listed subsidiaries, which are engaged in oil exploration and production, as well as the provision of oil services. It also has interests in other downstream businesses, including refining and petrochemicals.

Nexen Inc is an oil & gas exploration and production company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The company had 900 million boe of net proved reserves (92% oil, 48% developed) at end-December 2011 and net production of 171,000 boe per day in 3Q 2012.

The Local Market analyst for this rating is Kai Hu, +86 (10) 6319-6560.

Simon?Wong
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Gary Lau
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Moody's: CNOOC's ratings unchanged after Nexen acquisition; Nexen review continues
No Related Data.
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