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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: CNOOC, Nexen, China Petroleum & Chemical, ExxonMobil and Enphase Energy

CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE:CEO), Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE:SNP), ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) and Enphase Energy Inc. (Nasdaq:ENPH).


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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

CNOOC Clears Final Hurdle for Nexen

Chinese energy giant CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE:CEO) has cleared the final obstacle for its acquisition of the Calgary, Alberta-based energy producer Nexen Inc. (NYSE:NXY). The deal price is approximately $15.1 billion in cash.

CNOOC has already received the regulatory approvals in Europe and Canada. However, it needed the U.S. approval as Nexen has operations in the country. Now, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had finally given its green signal. The deal is expected to close around Feb. 25, seven months after China's biggest offshore oil and gas producer made its bid of $27.50 a share.

Although the CFIUS approval is likely to be viewed as a positive development for CNOOC, it came on the heels of deeper concerns and further discussions. One of the U.S. legislators planned to bring in legislation to obstruct any future transaction, like the Nexen one, involving the transfer of royalty-free leases.

Again, one of the representatives of the House Natural Resources Committee, Edward Markey, said that Chinese oil corporations must not be allowed to drill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region without giving any royalty to the country's taxpayers.

However, this deal marks a significant milestone for CNOOC as it gets hold of Nexen's biggest reserves in the Canadian oil sands. Calgary, Alberta-based Nexen operates in western Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Africa and the Middle East. Apart from oil sands, Nexen remains dynamic in natural gas exploration in shale rock formations. It owns approximately 300,000 acres of shale-gas blocks in the Horn River Basin in British Columbia.

As the world's second-largest economy, China has a huge energy requirement. The Nexen acquisition bid foregrounds not only a bold attempt by CNOOC but also of other Chinese biggies to make deeper inroads into the international energy markets with the specific aim of meeting domestic demand. We note that the CNOOC bid for Nexen marks the biggest Chinese takeover attempt so far.

Recently, another Chinese energy giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE:SNP), aka Sinopec, planned to acquire international upstream oil and gas assets from its parent company, China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, in order to spread its footprint globally. In this regard, Sinopec is eyeing assets in countries such as the U.K., Russia, Colombia and Kazakhstan.

The transaction - expected in April this year - would position Sinopec on the same platform with other international energy giants like ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM).

CNOOC currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (short-term Hold rating).

Enphase System at Arizona Solar Farm

Enphase Energy Inc. (Nasdaq:ENPH) has announced that Arizona based Cambio Energy has completed a solar installation at the Tempe Plaza Solar project using its cutting-edge Enphase Microinverter System. The 302 Kilowatt solar project includes 1,211 microinverters supplying solar electricity to retail and office outlets.

Enphase Energy's next generation microinverter system offers innovative solutions related to operation, maintenance and installation of solar energy systems. The product's safety, easy installation process and optimum harvest potential are the essential features that make it superior to the conventional central inverter.

The company's Enphase Microinverters, Envoy Communications Gateway and Enlighten web-based monitoring and analysis software work in tandem to provide greater energy yield and unmatched solar system intelligence.

The microinverters cut off high-voltage DC, help to reduce costs and are time saving in nature. Along with this, the real-time monitoring capabilities will allow precise forecasting of total energy production and repair the array for the lifetime of the system.

As of now, Enphase Energy has exported about 2.6 million microinverters and has spread its operations in Europe, Asia-Pacific as well as North America. Recently, the company entered the Australian renewable market joining forces with RFI Solar for the distribution of Enphase Microinverter System.

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