China Oil­field Ser­vices in Nor­way drill deal

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

SHANG­HAI: State owned China Oil­field Ser­vices has an­nounced a con­tract with Nor­way's Sta­toil for drilling in the North Sea, de­spite Bei­jing's hard feel­ings over the award­ing of the No­bel Peace Prize to im­pris­oned dis­si­dent Liu Xiaobo.

The Dec. 9 deal, seen Tues­day on China Oil­field Ser­vices' web­site, calls for one of its drilling rigs to op­er­ate in the North Sea for up to five years. It says the newly com­mis­sioned rig is to be­gin drilling next sum­mer.

The long-term im­pact of Bei­jing's ire over the prize, awarded to Liu last week in ab­sen­tia, re­mains to be seen.

China re­acted with fury, sus­pend­ing trade talks with Nor­way in re­tal­i­a­tion and pres­sur­ing for­eign na­tions not to at­tend the awards cer­e­mony.

It has run daily tirades in state me­dia be­rat­ing the Nor­we­gian No­bel Com­mit­tee as mis­guided and in­her­ently op­posed to China's devel­op­ment.

Liu is serv­ing an 11-year prison sen­tence for sedi­tion, af­ter co-au­thor­ing a bold ap­peal for hu­man rights and mul­ti­party democ­racy known as Char­ter 08. It is his fourth pe­riod of in­car­cer­a­tion since 1989. -Ap

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