Argentina has asked stock markets in both New York and London to warn investors of its claim that five oil exploration companies are working illegally off the Falkland Islands. Argentina says that these were stolen by Britain over a century ago.
Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has announced that letters have been sent to the directors of both markets urging them to force any company involved in the exploration of oil near the islands to warn investors that the companies risk civil and criminal penalties in Argentina. Argentina considers the "Islas Malvinas" to be part of its sovereign territory.
Companies involved include Argos Resources, Desire Petroleum, Falkland Oil and Gas, Borders & Southern Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration.
Those involved in the Falklands oil business have said they have proven they can develop oil no matter what Argentina says or does.
"It's like baying at the moon. The claim isn't recognised by the people of the Falklands or the people of Britain. Investors are aware that Argentina is making noise, but it's really just noise," said John Foster, managing director of Britain's Falkland Islands Holdings, which owns a minority share of Falkland Oil and Gas.
"As a practical matter I don't think it will have any impact."
The five mentioned companies are small players in the oil industry and would need major partners to shift into production.
However, the Argentinian government attempts to keep that from happening or at least make it more expensive by barring any participating companies from doing business in Argentina and now by trying to cast doubt on the legality of the exploration.
This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation
to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this
article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from
a qualified investment adviser. More