Small Talk: Falkland Oil and Gas to drill in disputed South Atlantic waters

Falkland Oil and Gas is expected to announce later this week that it has signed a deal for the use of a rig that will allow it to start drilling for oil and gas in the seas around the islands from which it takes its name.

The news from this Alternative Investment Market-listed company should be warmly welcomed by investors, and if it happens upon some of the black stuff, all the better.

Except for one point.

An uptick in activity around the Falklands has irked the Argentinians, who regard Las Islas Malvinas as their own territory. Last week Buenos Aires detained a ship, the Thor Leader, on the grounds that it was carrying steel pipes believed to be destined for exploration work in the islands' territorial waters – an activity Argentina considers illegal.

Indeed, the move follows an increase in Argentinian sabre- rattling in recent months, as other Aim-listed groups have started exploration work. Desire Petroleum has contracted the same rig for exploration work, and has already signed a deal to lease it to Rock- hopper Exploration. Falkland Oil and Gas is hoping to employ the rig in April after testing a different seismic area. Investors have shown a keen interest in the Falklands activity, with all three groups successfully raising money in chunky fund-raising.

Desire cashed £42m in September, before Rockhopper raised £50m – the same amount as Falkland Oil and Gas. Another outfit, Borders & Southern, is planning its own drilling campaign and last November raised a whopping £113.1m to fund a three-well programme. Desire had planned to start drilling earlier this month, but the rig is understood to have been delayed by bad weather.

It is expected to arrive at its first drill location, the company's Liz prospect on its Tranche C acreage, by the middle of next week. It will thankfully not, we understand, be accompanied by battleships.

Motive runs against the tide with relisting on Aim

Much ink has been spilled, not least in this column, on the number of groups deciding for one reason or another that the Alternative Investment Market is no longer fit for their purpose.

The lawyers at Trowers & Hamlins, said recently that the number of companies delisting from Aim increased in the fourth quarter to 73, from 63 between June and September. All bad news, no doubt.

But of course, every cloud and all that. Last Friday, the inspiringly named Motive Television relisted on Aim after a six week cessation. Under Aim rules, all companies must have a Nomad – Motive didn't after Hoodless Brennan was bought up for £3.6m by Astaire Securities and according to Motive's chief executive, Mick Pilsworth, above, there wasn't much interest from the new brokerage. The group is back now on Aim however, and without too much disruption to shareholders, Mr Pilsworth claims.

As well as changing its broker, the group is also changing its focus. After starting life as a spin-off from Irish pay per view sports channel Setanta, Motive was a holding company for independent television production companies.

After deciding that the risks in that market were no longer worth the returns, Motive has completely changed tack and now has the global distribution rights for a digital television provider. Spanish group Adeq has developed software that allows on-demand films to be watched without first downloading them through the internet, with Motive penning a potentially lucrative deal to distribute the technology across the globe.

New PLUS chief faces up to AIM

PLUS, the main rival to Aim and a specialist at attracting even smaller companies to the public markets, has a new chairman.

Giles Vardey has been appointed to "capitalise on [PLUS's] position as a fully competitive stock exchange based in London," the group's spokesman says.

He will do this by "leveraging its ability to offer primary market services by diversifying its product portfolio and extending its geographical reach, while developing its secondary market services through moving into electronic execution," so the spokesman says .

No doubt. But the exchange still has lots to do to catch up with Aim. Despite a rotten year for the London Stock Exchange's small cap index, Aim is still the exchange of choice for small caps coming to the market, and still more liquid. But PLUS is certainly making inroads. Since September, it has traded all Aim-listed stocks, and has captured as much as 25 to 30 per cent of the market, it claims. In Mr Vardey, a City behemoth, it reckons it has got a tried and tested chairman. Next stop, profitability.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone