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Nexen sinks into the red in fourth quarter

A Nexen oil sands facility seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta., Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Nexen Inc., the Calgary-based oil and gas producer being taken over by a state-owned Chinese company, says it sank into the red in the fourth quarter.

Nexen, citing impairment charges on natural gas properties in the U.S. and Canada and costs associated with its Long Lake oilsands project, says its net loss in the three months ended in December was $6 million or two cents per diluted share.

That was a big reversal from last year's fourth-quarter profit of $43-million or eight cents per share.

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Net sales from continuing operations were $1.58-billion, down from $1.66-billion in the same 2011 period.

For the year as a whole, Nexen said income dropped 52 per cent, which primarily reflected "the impact of higher share-based compensation expense as a result of the increase in our share price in part due to the proposed CNOOC Ltd. acquisition and to lower gains from asset dispositions."

Last year, net income included pre-tax gains of $386-million from asset dispositions compared to $194-million in 2012.

The $15.1-billion acquisition by China National Offshore Oil Corp. is expected to be completed this week, Nexen said.

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