The sale is the latest in a string of bad luck for BP. In 2005, BP was found to be chiefly responsible for the largest oil spill in history. In 2009, they suffered six platform disasters and in 2010 they were hit with a $25 billion fine-the largest in history for an environmental incident.
The purchase of the pipeline by CNOOC is a signal that China wants more control over exporting oil from Alberta’s oil sands. China has been aggressively trying to expand its interests overseas, mostly because it needs more resources to keep growing its economy.
China has been importing more and more oil from repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Iran. The Chinese government is one of the world’s primary censors of the internet. They also haven’t hesitated to use force in putting down democracy protests, such as what occurred in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Though Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have been friendly to China, it does not seem that they can control what goes on in the Chinese business community. In December, CNOOC tried to buy a Canadian company, Nexen. But Ottawa put a stop to the deal because the takeover could have given Chinese state-owned companies too much control over Canada’s oil sands.
Canadian politicians are concerned about their country’s sovereignty, especially after the financial crisis showed that even some of the world’s largest economies could experience a serious recession and contagion. Mr. Harper has said he does not want Canada to become so dependent on China for its economy that it would be at risk if the Chinese economy collapsed.
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