Business

Chinese oil firm execs get jail terms in bribery case

A Chinese court sentenced a former senior executive of state oil company China National Petroleum Corp. on Tuesday to 20 years in prison after finding him guilty of corruption.

CNPC owns stake in Alberta's Dover and MacKay River oilsands

Employees work on a slant producing well at MacKay River oilsands about 97 kilometres north of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta. (Dave Olecko/Bloomberg News)

A Chinese court sentenced a former senior executive of state oil company China National Petroleum Corp. on Tuesday to 20 years in prison after finding him guilty of corruption.

China National Petroleum Corp. is one of the state-owned Chinese companies that have invested in Alberta's oilpatch. It owns a share of the MacKay River and Dover oilsands projects in Alberta, along with a small stake in the North Twining oilfield and pipeline interests.

The sentencing of Wang Yongchun, former deputy general manager of CNPC, came a day after the company's former chairman, Jiang Jiemin, was given 16 years' imprisonment for corruption.

The Xiangyang Intermediate People's Court in central China said Wang received 49 million yuan ($10 million Cdn) in bribes between 2000 and 2013 and failed to explain the source of another 42 million yuan ($8.6 million).

It said Wang — at Jiang's direction — provided assistance to others, causing huge losses to the state.

Jiang's detention in August 2013 kicked off the anti-corruption campaign that began when President Xi Jin Ping took power.

Formerly chair of CNPC, the parent company of listed firm PetroChina, which is Asia's largest oil producer, he also had close to ties to Zhou Yongkang, a powerful state official who controlled energy and security.

Jiang confessed to accepting bribes for approving construction projects and for offering personal job promotions.

Dozens of CNPC executives have been detained or investigated in the corruption probe, which spread throughout China's state-controlled oil sector.

The oil industry used to be a power base for Zhou, a retired member of the all-powerful standing committee of the ruling Communist Party's Politburo.

Zhou is serving life in jail for corruption. Many of his associates — including Jiang and Wang — also have been convicted of corruption.

with files from CBC News

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