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Argentina warns Falklands’ oil companies of May 2 deadline when legal actions begin

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The ‘Ocean Guardian’ oil rig which spent almost two years drilling in Falklands’ waters

 

Argentina once again warned oil companies considered by the Government to be “illegally operating” in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands, and reiterated it will press charges against them unless they justify their actions before next Wednesday, May 2.

Thursday, April 26th 2012 – 01:33 UTC

In a recent statement released to the press, the ministry said that on last April 17th, all oil companies currently performing exploration tasks in the ‘Malvinas basin’ were notified “of their clandestine actions and their consequences” by the Argentine embassy in the United Kingdom.

The companies notified were Argos Resources, Rockhopper Exploration, Borders and Southern PLC, Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd and Desire Petroleum PLC.

The Argentine government has set a May 2 deadline for companies to justify their activities.

“If case of failure to offer a response and once the legal deadline expires, we will issue the corresponding sanctions to every company according to a resolution by the Argentine Energy Secretariat, which considers these activities to be clandestine. The Government will also proceed to press criminal and civil charges,” the ministry warned.

The Foreign Affairs release states that by doing this they “reaffirm Argentina’s decision to defend the nation’s sovereign rights by any peaceful means possible – both legal and diplomatic- as well as the country’s natural resources, which belong to the Argentine people.”

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Britain reassures banks over Argentina’s Falklands threats

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The British Government has told the Falklands and companies working there that it will defend the protectorate against Argentine aggression. Photo: Reuters

The Foreign Office has sought to reassure British and American banks threatened by the Argentine government over their involvement in the Falkland Islands oil industry.

By James Quinn
9:30PM BST 21 Apr 2012

The Government, in a move designed to ease concern among the investment community about the Argentine legal threats, has written to some 15 banks and oil exploration companies operating in the region.

The move comes as Argentina faces international condemnation for its seizure of Repsol’s majority stake in YPF, Argentina’s largest oil company, last week.

In the new letter, the Foreign Office says it is “deeply sceptical” that Argentina would be able to enforce “any penalties” in courts outside its own borders. It adds that the government of the Falklands “is entitled to develop” oil and fishing industries in its own waters “without interference from Argentina.”

“The British Government has no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime areas,” it adds.

News of the letter follows The Sunday Telegraph’s revelation that the Argentine government had written to banks involved in the Falkland oil industry threatening them with legal action. In writing to the banks concerned, including broker Oriel Securities and Royal Bank of Scotland, the Government has sought to not jeopardies the fledgling Falkland oil industry.

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Edison Investment Research, which has published research on the value of oil around the islands , slammed the attempts to silence it.

“Edison Investment Research firmly believes in the right for all financial institutions, publishers and in particular financial research houses such as ours to be able to exercise their right to provide independent analysis of all quoted companies wherever they are listed and wherever their operations may be carried out,” said Edison’s Fraser Thorne.

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