Anorak News | Argentina to sue UK oil companies for being bigger cheats than Maradona

Argentina to sue UK oil companies for being bigger cheats than Maradona

by | 6th, June 2012

THE Argies have decided to try suing the British oil companies drilling off the Falklands. There is of course just one teensie, tiny, problem:

The Argentine foreign ministry on Monday declared “illegal and clandestine” the activities of Desire Petroleum, Falkland Oil and Gas, Rockhopper Exploration, Borders and Southern Petroleum, and Argos Resources on the grounds that they are drilling in Argentine waters.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the companies were operating “in a sovereign area of the Argentine nation and as such fall within its specified laws and rules”. The companies “are not authorised by the Argentine government under law 17.319 on hydrocarbons”, she added.

According to the Argentine foreign ministry, her declaration opened the way for the “immediate launch” of criminal proceedings.

That problem being: where are they going to sue them?

If they open criminal proceedings in Argentina then of course the case is going to be pretty simply for the government to win. But it doesn’t actually aid them very much as none of the companies has any contact with Argentina or any assets or property there. For fairly obvious reasons.

The only other rational place to try is in the UK (or Falklands) courts and that just isn’t going to go very well for the Argentines.

And as to trying to take it to any of the international courts: well, none of them agree that the Falklands are in fact part of Argentina. All of the international bodies agree that, at least de facto, the UK runs the place and can thus licence whatever and whoever the hell it likes in the territorial waters.

Looks like a bit of domestic tub-thumping more than anything else really. To take Argentine minds off the collapsing economy and rampant inflation…just like Galtieri did in fact.

Posted: 6th, June 2012 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink