Friday, February 12, 2010
Argentina blocks Falkland-bound ship
Argentina has blocked a ship with supplies from heading to the disputed Falkland Islands because of rows with the UK about drilling around the islands.
The Argentine government stopped a vessel from taking its load of locally-made seamless pipes out to the Falkland Islands, also known as Islas Malvinas.
It was because of allegations that the cargo would be used illegitimately by the UK in its oil drilling in the seabed surrounding the southern Atlantic islands, the Argentine Foreign Office said.
Governor of Argentina's southernmost province of Tierra del Fuego, Fabiana Rios, criticized Britain for developing energy programs offshore the disputed islands saying, the "Great Britain is violating Argentine sovereignty."
His remarks came after a Thursday meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana over the row that is escalating with the UK about Britain's ambitions of oil excavation in the region.
Britain's Desire Petroleum plc, dedicated to oil and gas exploration in the North Falkland Basin, has licensed six areas around the islands where an estimated 3.5 billion barrels of oil and a projected 3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas can be recovered from relatively shallow deposits, the Associated Press reported.
The company is bringing in the Ocean Guardian, a $35 million offshore oil rig, that it expects to begin drilling in earnest by the end of January.
Argentina views the islands as a part of its sovereign territories. The two countries fought a war over the islands in 1982 in which hundreds from both sides were killed.