Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to protect Canadian oil companies like Suncor Energy Inc. (SU) from being controlled by Chinese and other state-owned enterprises may hinder the country’s ability to attract the C$650 billion ($658 billion) needed to develop its resources.

After approving bids by China’s Cnooc Ltd. (883) and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. for Nexen Inc. (NXY) and Progress Energy Resources Corp. (PRQ), both of Calgary, Harper said last week that would be the “end of a trend” because state-run companies may have “larger purposes” that go beyond commercial objectives.

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