Friday, April 16, 2010

BP set to press on with Canadian oil sands plan. of course they are!

LONDON — Energy group BP on Thursday signalled its intention to press on with plans to back extraction of oil from Canadian oil sands after defeating shareholders opposed on environmental grounds.

BP told investors at its annual meeting here that the oil or tar sands project was crucial in helping meet the world's energy needs up to 2030.

But it added that it would only make a final decision on whether to finance a joint venture with Canadian counterpart Husky Energy regarding the project by the end of the year.

BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said the vote was "not about winning or losing" and stressed that the firm would take into account requests for greater transparency.

At an estimated 175 billion barrels, Alberta's oil sands are the second largest oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia, but they were neglected for years, except by local companies, because of high extraction costs.

Since 2000, skyrocketing crude oil prices and improved extraction methods have made exploitation more economical, and have lured several multinational oil companies to mine the sands.

BP on Thursday also faced down a small rebellion over plans to increase the pay of group chief executive Tony Hayward.

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