Britain waited only a few minutes for Argentina to finish detailing a barrage of legal and administrative threats against anybody and everybody involved in the Falklands oil industry, and firmly stated its full support to the Islanders development of their hydrocarbons resources.
Hydrocarbon exploration is a legitimate commercial venture and the British government supports the rights of the Falkland Islanders to develop their hydrocarbons sector, a spokesperson for Britain's Foreign Office said on Thursday not long after Argentine Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman made a presentation announcing sanctions against banks and companies that partner with and/or finance oil companies conducting hydrocarbons drilling in the Falklands.
This right is an integral part of the right of self-determination, which is expressly contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights added the FCO spokesperson, referring to a United Nations' treaty.
We want to have a full and friendly relationship with Argentina, as neighbours in the South Atlantic, but we will not negotiate away the human and political rights of the Falkland Islands' people” underlined the Foreign Office spokesperson.
The Foreign Office reiterated what has been official British policy, under Conservatives, Labour and the current coalition: there can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless the 3.000 Islanders in full exercise of their right to self determination, so wanted such discussions”.
Timerman’s presentation provided details on the immediate actions that Argentina will take against the “illegal hydrocarbon explorations conducted in the South Atlantic.”
The minister explained that the United Kingdom “takes unilateral decisions and give exploration licenses to oil companies disobeying all UN resolutions indicating that decisions should be debated by the two countries as there is an existent sovereignty conflict going on.
Argentina says Britain is flouting UN resolutions that call for talks and prohibit any unilateral action as long as the sovereignty dispute persists. Timerman said offshore oil exploration amounts to a unilateral move.
Timerman called the exploration and drilling activities illegal and said Argentina will bring civil and criminal charges to sanction the companies involved. “With these actions we assume the responsibility of defending Argentina's natural resources, Timerman said. The South Atlantic's oil and gas are property of the Argentine people.
We have run some research and found that not only banks, but also brokers, lobbyists and high risk investment funds are making Malvinas oil drills possible.
Several companies have drilled in waters to the north of the Islands with Falklands’ government licences. Rockhopper Exploration has been seeking a partner to invest in the 2 billion dollars Sea Lion project, and Borders & Southern and Falkland Oil & Gas are set to drill wells south of the islands this year.
An industry source in London said legal action against companies involved in Falklands’ oil exploration will have no impact on Rockhopper's operations as they look to develop the Sea Lion project”.