Argentina to prosecute UK Falklands firms
Argentina will launch criminal proceedings against British companies hunting for oil and gas in the Falklands next year, as the South American state looks to pressure the UK to the negotiating table.
Sources at the Argentinean embassy in London said criminal action in Buenos Aires was the "next step" to prevent oil majors from helping the likes of minnows Argos Resources and Desire Petroleum from securing the money they need to develop any discoveries.
Politicians in Buenos Aires have been frustrated that they cannot get the British Government to relent on a policy that allows UK firms to explore for energy in what they regard as a disputed territory, arguing these are "illegal activities".
They claim Foreign Secretary William Hague has refused to meet over drilling in the Falklands and hope that strangling the chances of commercialising any finds will ultimately lead to a compromise over the islands' future.
So far, FTSE 250 group Premier Oil is the biggest British company to agree to helping out the five main explorers around the islands, having signed an agreement with Rockhopper Petroleum. However, Argentina's energy prospects are so vast that the biggest companies are wary of risking a 20-year ban on operating in the country, which is what has been slapped on those five small groups which have dared to explore the Falklands.
In July, US giant Chevron signed a $1.24bn (£927m) deal with state-backed YPF to develop shale oil and natural gas in southern Argentina, while BP wrote a letter last year guaranteeing that they would not back any expeditions in what Buenos Aires calls the "Malvinas".
Argentina's treasury attorney general's office has vowed to "draft a criminal investigation" against the five companies, which also include Falkland Oil & Gas and Borders & Southern Petroleum. A senior embassy source said this action would be lodged with the courts next year.
The source conceded that the companies are likely to ignore the proceedings, but argued the move would heap pressure on the world's biggest oil and gas firms to ignore any black gold found in the Falklands. As a result, any discoveries would remain buried under the sea bed, as the explorers would not have the balance sheets to fund full-scale production.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Britain First picture: Photographer 'horrified' after first Afghan policewoman killed by Taliban used for 'ban the burka' campaign
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Gabrielle Union contacts FBI over nude 4Chan pictures leaked by 'vultures'
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...