Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised that the US$15.1 billion bid by China state-owned oil company CNOOC (CEO.NYSE, 0883.HKG) to acquire the Canadian oil company Nexen (NXY.NYSE) would be “thoroughly scrutinized,” Bloomberg reported. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the deal “is of net benefit if it is approved,” Harper said. Earlier, Industry Minister Christian Paradis emphasized that CNOOC’s bid would need to comply with Canada’s foreign investment laws to receive approval. In the US, Senator John Hoeven alleged that the potential acquisition of Nexen by a Chinese oil company was a “direct result” of President Barack Obama’s decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, Reuters reported. The delay of the pipepline, which would link Canadian oilsands to refineries in Texas, prompted Prime Minister Harper to say Canada would consider selling the oil to China instead.