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article imageOil discovery causes excitement in London, anger in Buenos Aires

By Igor I. Solar     May 6, 2010 in Business
Buenos Aires - Rockhopper Exploration, a British company licensed to explore for oil and gas in the North Falkland Basin, announced today that oil has been found and that tests will follow to certify the finding. Argentina calls the action illegal.
In February 2010, Rockhopper’s Ocean Guardian drilling rig arrived in the Falklands waters to carry out a multi-well drilling exploration. The company has drilled an exploration well on a prospect location and today’s announcement claims that Rockhopper has found oil in the North Falkland Basin. Samuel Moody, Managing Director of Rockhopper Exploration Public Limited Company (plc) of London, in a news release issued today (06/05/10) commented:
“We are extremely excited by the results of this well. While we are presently acquiring additional data, current indications are that we have made the first oil discovery in the North Falkland Basin.”
Regarding the announcement of Rockhopper Exploration, Buenos Aires' newspaper Clarín [in Spanish] reported that the Argentina Foreign Ministry declared:
"Argentina rejects in the strongest terms the attempt to illegally seize non-renewable natural resources, ownership of the Argentine people."
The Foreign Minister added:
Argentina warns the British authorities and the exploration company involved in these illegal activities, that the Argentine Government will continue to denounce in all international fora (forums) this illegal British action and will take all the necessary steps under international law to prevent the continuation of these actions."
The Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas are located about 480 km from the coast of South America in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of Argentina. The archipelago consists of two main islands (East Falkland and West Falkland) and many lesser islands. Currently, is a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. The British had claimed legal control on the islands since 1690 and the UK has exercised de facto sovereignty over the archipelago since 1833. Argentina, having had control over the islands for a period prior to 1833, considers the islands part of the Argentine territory. In pursuit of this claim, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982. This caused the two-month-long undeclared Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom which resulted in more than 900 casualties in both sides and the defeat and withdrawal of the Argentine forces.
In February 2010 the British announced oil exploration near the Falklands and the Argentine government warned that ships traversing Argentine territorial waters en route to the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands would require a permit. The British and Falkland governments declared that Falklands-controlled waters were unaffected by this requirement. In the last meeting of the Rio Group, Latin American and Caribbean leaders backed Argentina's claim of sovereignty over Las Islas Malvinas.
More about Oil, Falkland, Malvinas islands, Argentina
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