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Argentine judge orders seizure of Falklands' oil companies assets

Monday, June 29th 2015 - 05:38 UTC
Full article 81 comments
Timerman anticipated that on Monday he will formally request that the stock exchange regulators in London and New York implement the judge's order. Timerman anticipated that on Monday he will formally request that the stock exchange regulators in London and New York implement the judge's order.
Tierra del Fuego federal judge Lilian Herraez ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, rig, boats and other property of six oil companies Tierra del Fuego federal judge Lilian Herraez ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, rig, boats and other property of six oil companies
The companies named are Premier Oil Plc; Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd, Rockhopper Exploration Plc, Noble Energy Inc and Edison International Spa. The companies named are Premier Oil Plc; Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd, Rockhopper Exploration Plc, Noble Energy Inc and Edison International Spa.

Argentina will pursue in Britain and the United States a local judge's order to seize assets of oil drillers operating in the disputed Falklands Islands, the Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman said in an interview published in a government financed newspaper on Sunday.

 On Saturday, Tierra del Fuego federal judge Lilian Herraez ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, rig, boats and other property of six European and U.S. oil companies operating in the Falkland Islands.

Foreign minister Timerman told 'Tiempo Argentino' on Sunday that on Monday he will formally request that the stock exchange regulators in London and New York implement the judge's order.

The companies named in the order are Premier Oil Plc; Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd, Rockhopper Exploration Plc, Noble Energy Inc and Edison International Spa.

“The companies can defend themselves in foreign courts, but that will have a cost or penalty to their market listing,” Timerman said. He argued that international law forbids altering the state of territory where the United Nations has accepted that there is a sovereignty dispute, and that the companies had breached the rule by drilling wells.

Despite the fact all the companies named to not operate or have assets in Argentina, the public prosecutor's office said in a statement that investigators “had identified the assets of the foreign companies and discovered that one of them, U.S. firm Noble Energy, has a local office registered in Argentina.” Authorities would move to freeze those assets, it said.

Argentina claims sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands which under UN terminology are identified as Falklands/Malvinas. In 1982 Argentina organized a military invasion and occupation of the Islands, which lasted 74 days until dislodged by a British Task Force with an overall loss of almost a thousand lives.

In March 2013, the Falklands held a referendum on its future, and status, with international guarantees, and except for three votes, the overwhelming majority voted to remain as a British Overseas Territory.

Tensions between the UK and Argentina have risen in recent years since the discovery of oil deposits in the disputed islands, a British overseas territory claimed as the Malvinas by Argentina.

Ahead of Argentine elections in October, rhetoric is heating up. “What the United Kingdom is doing is what it did in classic colonialism: appropriate resources from its colonies and take them back to their country,” said Timerman on Sunday in reference to the fisheries and the development of an oil industry.

“The Foreign Ministry will be notified of the court order so that by diplomatic means and in compliance with international treaties it can be carried out,” the statement said.

Argentina has promised to resolve the dispute through diplomacy, but politicians often ramp up rhetoric around election time.

The Foreign Office has not made any official statement on the latest events but in the past it has repeatedly stated that Argentine law does not apply and is not enforceable in the Falklands, who are also entitled to develop natural resources under their jurisdiction such is the case with fisheries and the growing oil industry.

The case was presented by the Argentine government in Tierra del Fuego because under the Argentine constitution, the most austral province also includes 'Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands, plus Argentine Antarctic Territory”.

Top Comments

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  • gordo1

    Are they in their right minds?

    Jun 29th, 2015 - 05:53 am 0
  • Skip

    I'm loving this..... who's hogging the popcorn?

    Jun 29th, 2015 - 06:26 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    I believe that this judge is advocating piracy. And therefore the RN will legally be allowed to shoot them!

    Of course this is all empty words. Argentina hasn't got the balls to do anything.

    Jun 29th, 2015 - 07:18 am 0
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