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New Canada rules 'healthy'.

The chief executive of one of Canada's largest oil sands companies said that new government rules limiting control of the Alberta oil sands by state-owned companies will be healthy for the industry.

Marcel Coutu, chief executive of Canadian Oil Sands, said the changes will allow investor-owned businesses to compete with the deep pockets of state-controlled corporations in the oil sands, the world's third-largest crude reserve.

Canadian Oil Sands is the largest shareholder in the Syncrude Canada project, one of the biggest operations in the oil sands.

"We now have a level playing field again, which I think will be very healthy for the industry," Coutu told reporters following a presentation to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers annual Investment Symposium.

"I would say now it's just back to a more business as usual type of approach to investing capital globally."

Canadian government concern over rising state control of oil sands properties -- sparked by a $15.1 billion takeover offer for Nexen by China's CNOOC -- led Prime Minister Stephen Harper to announce that state-owned companies will now only be able to gain control of oil sands properties under exceptional circumstances, though minority stakes would still be open to them.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 17, 2012
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