Argentina Threatens Legal Action As British Firms Find Oil And Gas Off Falklands

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Argentina Threatens Legal Action As British Firms Find Oil And Gas Off Falklands

A group of British exploration companies have discovered oil and gas in an area north of the Falkland Islands which is bound to raise tensions with Argentina over the Islands disputed ownership.

Premier Oil Plc and Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd said the find at the Zebedee well was better than expected.

The oil explorers say they  have found 27.9 meters of net-oil bearing reservoir and 18.5 meters of net gas-bearing reservoir. The license area being explored is 40 percent owned by Falklands Oil and Gas, 36 percent by Premiere Oil and 24 percent by Rockhopper Exploration.

Argentina has not been happy about the exploration activity and  have threatened to challenge all exploration and drilling efforts in court.

RT reports: The Malvinas – as the the Falklands are called in Argentina – Islands Affairs Secretary Daniel Filmus told the state run agency Telam that the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Planning Ministry are going to carry out a joint legal case against the oil and gas exploration.

“A new offshore oil platform has just arrived in the islands to carry out some of the most important exploration efforts to try to find hydrocarbons in the area, which carries a huge environmental risk. We want the owners of the companies to be tried according to Argentine laws and international statutes,” Filmus said, as cited by the Buenos Aires Herald.

Argentina claims that drilling for oil off the Falkland Islands is illegal and the Argentinian embassy in London issued a statement in November 2013 that British oil executives face up to 15 years in prison and fines equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil as well as the confiscation of equipment and any hydrocarbons extracted.

The UK Foreign Office disputed the claim and said “the UK government unequivocally supports the right of the Falkland Islanders to develop their natural resources for their own economic benefit.”

Niamh Harris
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