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TORONTO–Nexen Inc. shareholders, as expected, overwhelmingly voted in favor of Cnooc Ltd.’s proposed $15.1 billion takeover of the Calgary-based energy company.

At a shareholder meeting in Calgary on Thursday, Nexen said 99% of votes cast by common shareholders supported the deal. The meeting was webcast.

However, the closely scrutinized transaction still needs approvals from Canada’s industry ministry, as well as from U.S. and European regulators. It represents the biggest test yet of the developed world’s willingness to accept Chinese capital for control of strategic resources.

State-controlled Cnooc is China’s largest offshore oil company by production. By acquiring Nexen it would gain ownership of oil and gas reserves in western Canada, the U.K. North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Nigeria.

“Today’s shareholder vote is one step in the transaction’s approval process,” Kevin Reinhart, Nexen’s interim president and chief executive, told shareholders following the vote. “It’s now in the [regulators'] hand to assess the transaction,” he said.

-By Ben Dummett. (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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