Thursday, October 04, 2007

Argentina Protests Oil Concession for Claimed Islands

La Nacion (Buenos Aires) – Protesta ante Gran Bretaña por Licencias Otorgadas en Malvinas
Financial Times – Argentina Protests at Falklands Oil Stake

The Argentine government has protested at news that the company BHP Billiton has bought concessions to exploit oil around the Falkland Islands. BHP paid $10 million for a 40% stake in Falklands Oil and Gas Limited, and will be exploring oil in the sea to the south and east of the islands.

Argentina has promised to formally protest the commercial move at the United Nations, claiming that the islands – which it calls Las Malvinas – remain part of Argentina’s sovereign holdings. The Argentine government claims that any commercial activity on the islands’ continental shelf is subject to Argentine control, and calls the commercial concessions illegal.

Since the 1983 war over the Falklands/Malvinas, which many saw as a last gasp for populist support by the ruling Argentine military junta, Argentina has claimed that the islands belong to Argentina and that Britain’s control represents a holdover of its colonial aspirations. At the UN General Assembly meeting last week, Kirchner used part of his speech to criticize Britain’s plans to seek UN approval for extending its continental shelf claims from 200 to 350 miles for the islands.

Argentina’s ministry cited BHP’s actions as continuing British resistance to formal discussions regarding the sovereignty of the islands. The British embassy in Buenos Aires responded that the Falkland Islands government has the right to develop its own natural resources and industries. BHP, which plans to obtain a rig to begin drilling in 2008 or 2009, estimates that there could be as many as 1 billion barrels of oil around the islands.

1. What should be the UN's role in the continuing territorial dispute over the Falkland/Malvinas islands?
2. Do Britain's actions in retaining sovereignty over the islands violate international law, as Argentina claims?
3. Has the sovereignty dispute been a dead issue since Britain defeated Argentina in 1983?

1 comment:

agamboa said...

I feel that Argentina has every right to protest this unjustice and that England should not venture out of their territory. England has stolen the natural resources from enough countries? If whatever judgement goes in their favor it will be a slap in the face to Argentina and will just tell the world that England is free to corrupt any country they want.