Tony Hayward took a wayward glance at the Canadian oil sands and did a little dance. "There's a lot of bloody oil up there," the BP (NYSE:BP) chief executive may have thought, as if in a trance.

Why hadn't the world's third-largest refiner grabbed a piece of the Athabascan pie? Who knows? Not I. From ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) to Total (NYSE:TOT), and from EnCana (NYSE:ECA) to Devon (NYSE:DVN), everyone else is in oil-sands heaven.

Here's the important thing: In walked a man by the name of Li Ka-shing. If Buffett's the Oracle of Omaha, this man's the Haruspex of Hong Kong. In other words, he's as rich as the day is long.

A deal was proposed -- split up assets, 50/50. Li's Husky Energy has the oil, and BP's refinery is nifty. The oil lies not so far from Fort McMurray, and even with a 2012 startup, there's reason to hurry. Serious labor, materials, and cash are required. Thinking of the effort is enough to make you tired.

In my estimation, it's a wise move by all. It's not Hayward's fault ol' BP once dropped the ball. He's new on the job and trying to turn things around. A good step would be getting this heavy oil out of the ground.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Total is an Income Investor selection. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and though it may seem a fallacy, not a creature was stirring, not even our disclosure policy.