China’s Anti-Graft Investigator Keeps Oil Giants in Its Sights

China’s anti-corruption investigators continued to zero in on the nation’s oil giants, calling on two of its biggest state-owned companies to review their overseas investments and accusing them of nepotism.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s top anti-graft agency, said officials at China National Petroleum Corp. used their power to help friends and family win contracts and promotions, according to a statement yesterday.

Officials at China’s biggest oil and gas company also used company money for private purposes, the Commission said, adding that it had found similar problems at China National Offshore Oil Corp., the country’s biggest offshore explorer.

In addition, the Commission highlighted what it called loopholes in the companies’ overseas investment processes that could leave room for corruption.

CNPC Chairman Wang Yilin and China National Offshore Chairman Yang Hua, both promoted to their posts last month, told inspectors they would begin a campaign to check on all the issues raised and fix them, according to the Commission. Spokesmen for the two companies in Beijing couldn’t be reached for comment.

China has identified 26 state-owned enterprises as targets of its anti-graft push this year. CNPC and China National Offshore were among companies recently subjected to a two-month inspection by the Commission, which also found violations at another six firms.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said corruption is a threat to the ruling Communist Party’s survival. His anti-graft campaign has snared about 100,000 officials of various levels in the past two years. CNPC has been worst hit among the oil companies, losing more than a dozen senior officials to investigations since August 2013.

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