Energy executives 'held over oil deals in Canada'

Two officials involved in CNPC overseas operations questioned, mainland media reports

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 4:10am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 4:10am

Two executives involved in the Canadian operations of China National Petroleum Corporation have been reportedly detained by the Chinese authorities.

Song Yiwu, the deputy general manager of CNPC Exploration and Development Company was detained last week, the Caixin news service reported.

Li Zhiming, the general manger of PetroChina International Investment Corporation (Canada) and the head of CNPC's Canadian operations, was escorted from Beijing airport last month after he returned from Canada, the report said.

The detention of Song and Li follow an investigation that centres on other deals which a third CNPC executive, Bo Qiliang, had done in Canada, Caixin said, citing an internal meeting at the oil and gas producer. No other details were given.

Meanwhile, Caixin suggested an executive of another CNPC subsidiary in Canada could be tied to former security tsar Zhou Yongkang .

Caixin said Jia Xiaoxia, the general manager of CNPC International (Canada) and who called herself Margaret Jia, was an "aunt" of "mysterious tycoon" Zhou Bin , who is widely believed to be the son of Zhou Yongkang.

The report said Margaret's whereabouts became uncertain after Zhou Bin and his stepmother, Jia Xiaoye, were detained in December.

Multiple sources have told the South China Morning Post the elder Zhou is under investigation for corruption.

But there is no evidence to link Margaret Jia with any corruption investigation at the company, Caixin said.

Chinese authorities announced this week that prosecutors were preparing corruption charges against the former head of CNPC, Jiang Jiemin.