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Nexen Energy, the Canadian unit of China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd, has been awarded exclusive rights by the Canadian province of British Columbia to build a LNG plant at the Grassy Point near Prince Rupert in the province, CNOOC said in a statement.

Known as Aurora LNG, the project is developed by Nexen Energy with two Japanese partners – INPEX Corporation and JGC Corporation. Nexen owns 60% interests in the plant with the remaining 40% belonging to the Japanese firms.

Upon authorization, Nexen Energy will carry out feasibility assessment and environmental impact evaluation on the LNG plant and export terminal with its Japanese partners.

In addition, the government of British Columbia granted Nexen Energy and its partners an exclusive right to use the land at Grassy Point for a long term.

In the future, CNOOC will export LNG from the Canadian terminal to Asia, particularly China, to meet the growing energy demand of Asian countries. “LNG export is the most attractive option for maximizing the value of our Canadian shale gas business,” CNOOC Chief Executive Li Fanrong said in the statement.

CNOOC acquired the Calgary-based Nexen Energy for $15.1 billion in February this year, marking the largest overseas acquisition by Chinese companies. Besides Nexen, CNOOC also acquired Canadian oil sands producer OPTI Canada Inc. for $2.1 billion in 2011.