Monday, June 4, 2012

UK firms’ oil search off Argentina declared as ‘illegal’

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Source: Press TV

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has declared ‘illegal’ the oil exploration by five British companies near the Falkland Islands, which Buenos Aires long has claimed as part of its territory.

The companies' activities "proved to be illegal and clandestine, as they're taking place in a sovereign area of the Argentine nation and as such fall within its specified laws and rules," President Kirchner said on her official website.

The Argentine government said earlier in mid-March that it would seek civil and criminal legal action against the UK companies exploring for oil in the region.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Daniel Cameron published five resolutions in Argentina's Official Bulletin declaring activities by the companies "illegal" and "clandestine."

The companies including Desire Petroleum, Falkland Oil and Gas, Rockhopper Exploration, Borders and Southern Petroleum and Argos Resources - "are not authorized by the Argentine government under law 17.319 on hydrocarbons," the resolutions read.

Britain has ruled the Falkland islands, off the coast of Argentina - called the Malvinas here - since 1833.

Thirty years after the Falklands War, tensions between Argentina and Britain are still high.

Argentina's 1982 attempt to recapture the remote islands triggered a 74-day war, which ended in a defeat for Argentina after British prime minister Margaret Thatcher sent in a naval task force to reclaim the archipelago. The conflict cost the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British troops.

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