BP pushes ahead with oil sands deal

BRITISH oil major BP is understood to be in talks to pay around $1.2bn (£765m) for a majority stake in a privately-held Canadian group with large oil-rich sand deposits.

A deal to take a stake in Alberta-based Value Creation could anger environmentalists who say the oil sands business is expensive and environmentally damaging.

“We don’t comment on rumour,” a BP spokeswoman said.

Indian oil group Reliance Industries is thought to have made a rival $2bn bid, but BP is understood to be the preferred partner.

Value Creation‘s oil sands – a bitumen-type deposit -- cover 430 sq miles.

BP said in 2007 it would set up a Canadian oil sands venture with Husky Energy in Alberta.