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Montevideo, May 30th 2023 - 13:58 UTC



Argentina to blacklist oil companies operating in Falklands

Friday, March 30th 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Planning Minister Julio De Vido Planning Minister Julio De Vido

Argentina took a step further Thursday in its diplomatic rift with the United Kingdom by announcing the creation of a register of oil companies which will not be allowed to operate on the mainland if engaged in exploration or any kind of production on the Falkland Islands.

The register, according to Planning Minister Julio De Vido, will require companies trading or drilling on the Argentine mainland to declare that they or any subsidiary or contractors are not involved in similar work on the islands. The resolution announced by De Vido in Casa Rosada, Government House, was signed by the secretary for energy in his ministry, Daniel Cameron. Asked what he thought might be the British reaction De Vido said that, "we are not concerned with the opinion of a foreign power in relation to what Argentina decides to do on its own territory." Sanctions against companies infringing the rule range from fines to the cancellation of concessions. The exact reach of the ruling was not immediately clear, because De Vido said that it was "a preventative and retroactive" decision which would affect all companies "that have developed services in our Malvinas islands under United Kingdom legislation." However, by way of explanation De Vido said the resolution would apply to new registrations of companies and old ones that are coming up for renewal of contracts. He did say that the new government decision applied to "all companies that are developing services of exploration, production, surveys, etc., on Argentine territory under Argentine legislation. This was the second government decision in 48 hours to affect economic relations concerning the South Atlantic islands. On Tuesday, the government announced that it was terminating the oil cooperation agreement with Britain, signed in 1995, during the government of President Carlos Menem. In a release from London the Foreign Office said it "regretted" Argentina's decision to withdraw from the Joint Declaration of 27 September 1995 on Co-operation over Offshore Activities in the South-West Atlantic. "This is a backward step". Although there has been little joint activity under the 1995 Joint Declaration for a number of years, "the declaration was designed to enable cooperation on practical issues of mutual benefit in the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources". "The Argentine action will make any future co-operation in this area more difficult. This regrettable action will not in any way help Argentina in its claim for sovereignty of the Islands". "The UK firmly believes that the Falkland Islanders have the right of self-determination and will not negotiate on sovereignty unless and until the Islanders wish us to do so", emphasized the FCO release. From Stanley the Falkland Islands Government considered the Argentine South Atlantic hydrocarbons cooperation withdrawal announcement as "unfortunate" and with no practical effect. The attitude is "business as usual" said Chris Simpkins, the Islands CEO.

Categories: Energy & Oil, Argentina.

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