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A drilling rig in the Montney Shale, near Fort St. John, B.C.

Jason Dziver/Talisman Energy

Ottawa has approved the acquisition by Malaysia's Petronas of British Columbia natural gas assets from Talisman Energy Inc., a $1.5-billion deal announced in November.

Industry Minister James Moore said the transaction is likely to have a net benefit to Canada due to commitments by state-owned Petronas. They are in the areas of Canadian participation, commercial operations, transparency, adherence to domestic laws and free market principles as well as capital investments, Mr. Moore said in a statement.

Petronas, which acquired Progress Energy in late 2012, bought assets in the Farrell Creek and Cypress areas of British Columbia that are part of the prolific Montney formation.

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Petronas is leading a group of international companies in a plan to build a liquefied natural gas plant on the West Coast for exports to Asia.

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