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Canada to review PetroChina's Encana gas bid

Canada will review PetroChina's proposed $5.4-billion purchase of half of a shale gas project from Encana Corp. , Industry Minister Tony Clement said Friday.

The decision did not come as a surprise. Under the Investment Canada Act, Mr. Clement must review any proposed foreign investment of more than $299-million.

"I can confirm that this transaction is subject to review under the Investment Canada Act. The investor has informed me that an application will be filed soon," Mr. Clement said in a statement.

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"The review process is a thorough one, involving consultations with the provinces/territories affected as well as other federal departments," he said.

The deal would mark the largest Chinese investment yet in a foreign natural gas asset.

Once the application is filed, Mr. Clement has an initial 45 days to decide if the investment would be of net benefit to Canada. He can extend the time for deliberation by another 30 days.

Mr. Clement stunned markets last November by blocking BHP Billiton's $39-billion hostile takeover offer for fertilizer giant Potash Corp.



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