Argentina protests against start of drilling at the Falklands

Apr 29, 1998 02:00 AM

Argentina has repeated its opposition to the start of oil drilling off the Falklands by the arrival of the first .
The Foreign Ministry said Britain had announced that U.S. oil company Amerada Hess Corp would drill the first exploration hole north of the islands a few days later. It reiterated Argentina's position expressed in a 1995 oil agreement.
The short statement said Argentina "declares once more that it does not accept nor recognise the right claimed by Britain to authorise oil activities in sea areas that, by law, belong to the Argentine republic."

Britain and Argentina fought a 10-week war over the British-run islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas, after Argentine troops tried to enforce a 150-year-old sovereignty claim. A British task force ousted the Argentine troops and about 1,000 servicemen, mostly Argentine, lost their lives.

The two have now restored diplomatic ties and in 1995 signed a framework accord on oil and gas exploration around the islands.
This lets both impose their own tender procedures for drilling in the South Atlantic, but also sets up a Special Area of Cooperation south-west of the islands.
Amerada Hess will drill one of the 7 wells licensed by the Falkland Islands authorities in 1996. Industry analysts say there is a 10-15 % chance that oil will be found in commercial quantities off the disputed islands.

Source: not available
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