Interesting blog from the Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Andrew Willis from the Globe looks at the recent criticism BP has gotten for investing in oil sands. Notice the dichotomy between the city investors that argue BP should invest in oil sands and those worried by the climate that think its a stupid idea.

Writes Willis: “Tony Hayward had better get used to defending his company’s push into the oil sands. BP’s newly-named chief executive officer is likely to be doing major Alberta acquisitions in the not too distant future.

Mr. Hayward took heat from the British press this week for BP’s first foray into the what’s being called the “dirty” oil sands – that being the company’s $11.7-billion (U.S.) joint venture with Husky Energy. The Europeans seem underwhelmed with the Kyoto-breaching nature of oil sands development.

It’s not Kyoto criticisms that sting Mr. Hayward. It’s the concerns of energy analysts such as David Stedman at Daiwa Securities in London, who wrote this week: “We have argued for a number of years that BP has too narrow a set of growth opportunities.”

Mr. Stedman praised BP’s joint venture with Husky Energy, and a recently announced LNG project in Qatar, but said these initiatives only amounted to “a good start.”

Willis concludes: “It’s clear that Mr. Hayward is making a commitment to the oil sands that his predecessor never contemplated. And with this kind of acquisition budget, nothing in the Alberta oil sands is beyond Mr. Hayward’s reach.”

BP no longer stands for Beyond Petroleum, but Big Polluter.