Chevron Corp.’s global head of exploration and production told reporters Wednesday that the company is attempting to complete its acquisition of Unocal Corp. as soon as August. However, the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) said late Wednesday that it is willing to offer US$67 in cash per Unocal share, or about US$18.5 billion, which represents a premium for Unocal’s shareholders of US$1.5 billion over the value of Chevron’s offer based on Chevron’s closing price on June 21.

Chevron’s George Kirkland told reporters at the Reuters Energy Summit in New York that the company is “doing everything we can to move this quickly, like we would do in every single one of them. I think we could be closed in the August timeframe.”

Earlier this month, Chevron received regulatory approval to acquire Unocal from the Federal Trade Commission, and the transaction now awaits approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unocal shareholders also have to approve the offer in a shareholder vote.

Meanwhile, CNOOC said it believes that a combination with Unocal would have a leading position in the Asian energy market and an expanded role in the development of China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. The combination is expected to more than double CNOOC Limited’s oil and gas production and increase its reserves by nearly 80% to approximately four billion barrels of oil equivalent. Approximately 70% of Unocal’s current proved oil and gas reserves are in Asia and the Caspian region.

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