Oil and gas finds off The Falklands could aggravate old sovereignty issues

San Francisco: UK-based Premier Oil has discovered oil and gas reserves offshore from The Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, the company announced.

But the find could reopen old wounds between Argentina and Britain as the Argentines have threatened to prosecute companies acting in the waters which they consider their territory.

The two countries fought a short war in 1982 after Argentina’s military junta invaded the British-held islands and Britain sent a huge naval task force which ousted them. Despite losing the conflict, Argentina has never relinquished its claims to the islands.

According to the official release from Premier Oil, its Zebedee well discovered 25 metres of net oil-bearing reservoir and 17 metres of net gas-bearing reservoir in the Falkland Islands.

Premier has a 36% share in Zebedee, and is partnered by Falklands Oil & Gas with 40% and Rockhopper, 24%.

Experts think other potential fields in the area are even more promising, in particular one called Isobel Deep which will be explored by the Eirik Raude rig.

The Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Planning Ministry are expected to carry out a joint legal filing over the next few days against the exploration efforts.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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