Five British oil companies operating in the Falklands—Rockhopper, Desire Petroleum, Falkland Oil and Gas, Borders & Southern, and Argos Resources—have been warned that exploration projects in the Falklands are illegitimate.
The companies, according to a statement summarising five orders from the Secretary of Energy, “do not have a permit or license issued by the competent authorities of the Argentine government.”
The statement further communicates to the companies that their operations are considered “illegitimate and clandestine because they are being carried out in an area that is under the sovereignty of Argentina, without regard for specific laws and regulations.”
In 2010, the company Rockhopper announced the discovery of the Sea Lyon oilfield, with reserves estimated by the company at 1.297 billion barrels of oil. The site could generate as much as US$10,500 million over the next two decades in duties and taxes to the British.
Similarly, Desire Petroleum, which owns a 40% share of Sea Lyon, has discovered hydrocarbons in three other disputed areas: Casper, Beverley, and Casper South.
All five companies have ignored warnings from the Argentine government, continuing to operate in wells with potential for as much as 8,000 million barrels. It is estimated that Britain could benefit by as much as US$167,000 million.