Thursday, April 18, 2013

Falkland Islands Voted Pro-Britain

I am sitting in my home office and enjoy a beautiful night overlooking the Mediterranean. I laying in my cabana on my huge terrace under some palm trees and relax with a nice cup of coffee. It is nice to listen to the sound of silence and clear my head. I finish my coffee and close my eyes. I try to block out every thought, but usually fail at that. It was suggested to me that I should try to mediate or do more yoga as it will work wonders for my mind, body and soul.

I do miss the times when I did my daily yoga exercises. I always have something work related on the mind and sometimes it’s a nice surprise when I close my eyes and see which work related thought will rush through my mind. I get comfortable, close my eyes and the first thing that comes to mind is a minor side project that has to do with oil & gas exploration in the Falkland Islands.

The Falkland Islands are relatively small and not many pay attention to what is going on in this tiny British Oversees Territory. The first thing most people may think about when they hear Falkland Islands is the military conflict between Argentina, which refers to the islands as Las Malvinas, and the UK in 1982. Argentina invaded the archipelago and an undeclared two-month Falkland War started between the two countries which left roughly 907 dead.

The Falkland war started on April 2nd 1982 when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands as well as South Georgia. The British government dispatched naval forces in order to engage the Argentine Navy as well as Air Force and liberate Falkland Island. 74 days later Argentina surrendered on June 14th 1982 and Britain re-established control of the island. 649 Argentinian soldiers died while 255 British soldiers lost their lives and three islanders were killed as well.

Here is an overview of losses as well as casualties

Since then there has been a calm hatred between Argentina, which continues to claim the island as its own, as well as the UK. In 2010 political relations soured rather fast and are now at a peak not seen since the Falkland War. The reason behind the renewed conflict was the discovery of roughly 60 Billion barrels of oil in Falkland territorial waters.

The estimated worth of the oil fields to the Falklands would be an estimated $167 Billion in royalties as well as taxes which it would receive through 26% of profits as well as 9% on every barrel sold. Given the fact that the Falklands have a population of less than 3,000, which are all British citizens under British law, this will be a tremendous boost for the Falkland economy.

On March 10th as well as 11th the islanders voted in favor to remain a British Oversees Territory. Argentina, which neither has the political not the military power to enter another war with Britain, has claimed the vote as illegal and vowed to disrupt the oil industry as much as possible. Argentine’s Latin American allies have voiced support for Argentina and swore their allegiance as well as support to the country.

Argentina and its allies, all of which claim that the Falklands belong to Argentina, do not allow ships under the Falkland flag to dock in its ports. They also ban every ship which assists the oil production in the Falklands to use their ports, tankers included. It may also sanction foreign companies operating in Argentina who support the Falkland oil exploration. They will only alienate Western allies and do nothing to disrupt the oil exploration. The UK supports oil exploration which will support the Falkland economy which said it will use part of the revenues to cover its defense costs as 1,500 British troops are garrisoned on Falkland and paid for by British taxpayers.

Five oil exploration companies have agreed to explore the oil reserves in the Falkland basin which shows that companies trust the British government much more than the empty Argentine threats. We are on board with the oil exploration and have a working interest in the project. I slowly fall asleep and get some much needed rest.


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