Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Li Ka-shing May Tap Israel for Tar-Sands Technology (For use in BP/Husky's Sunrise Project)

Li Ka-shing May Tap Israel for Oil-Sands Technology (For use in BP/Husky's Sunrise Project)
May 04, 2010
By Alisa Odenheimer and Mark Lee

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing may invest in Israeli oil-sands companies to expand his interests in energy production.

Li’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. is keen to invest in oil-sands technology that limits environmental pollution, the billionaire told Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in a meeting in Hong Kong today.

Husky Energy Inc., controlled by Li, will step up development of its oil-sands business as crude prices rise amid the global economic recovery, Hong Kong’s richest man said in March. Steinitz told Li he will see “whether there are Israeli solutions on the subject,” according to a statement from the finance ministry.

“Li expressed his appreciation of Israel’s technology,” the finance ministry said.

Husky said in January the first phase of its Sunrise Oil Sands Project may yield at least 3.7 billion barrels of oil. The Calgary, Canada-based company will extract heavy oil from tar- like sand with BP Plc and turn it into synthetic crude for refining into fuels.

Li, who has interests in property, ports and telecommunications, is also keen to invest in water-technology companies, according to the finance ministry. Hans Leung, a Hong Kong-based spokesman at Hutchison, declined to comment.

The interest to invest comes less than a year after Li’s Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. sold its 51 percent stake in Israel’s Partner Communications Ltd. for about $1.4 billion in October.

Li is the world’s 14th-richest person with wealth of $21 billion, Forbes magazine said in March.


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