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The Global Intelligence Files – FROM WikiLeaks – ARGENTINA – Falkland Islands oil exploration

STRATFOR MONITOR- ARGENTINA – Falkland Islands oil exploration

Email-ID 281798
Date 2010-03-05 16:38:28
To zucha@stratfor.com, meredith.friedman@stratfor.com, Howard.Davis@nov.com, Pete.Miller@nov.com, Andrew.bruce@nov.com, David.rigel@nov.com, loren.singletary@nov.com
Reports from Malvina government authorities say that the companies Border
and Southern Ltd and BHP Billiton are prepared to start exploring the
Southern waters of the Falkland islands as soon as possible. They are
even evaluating the possibility of bringing a new oil platform or drilling
boat to the area in the event they are unable to use the Ocean Guardian
(the drilling boat that caused the recent rift among the govts). Through
these measures, Border and Southern Ltd and BHP Billiton will be the
latest companies to join oil exploration activities in the islands (after
Desire Petroleum and Rockopper Exploration), which are currently in waters
North of the islands. Desire and Rockopper are the companies
that contracted the Ocean Guardian from Diamond Offshore Drilling Intl;
Billiton could also use the Ocean Guardian.Island authorities have said that drilling in southern waters is a more
delicate issue environmentally speaking. However, according to their
studies, oil companies are saying that their activities will not interfere
with commercial fishing in the area (the principal form of income for the
islands). Some experts are saying that the two drilling areas are an
underwater continuation of the Andes. They are also located very close to
the well that YPF wants to explore in Argentine waters. The expert also
said that the exploratory phase in southern waters would take about 70
days, though he said that he could not estimate a start date given the
variables over equipment availability.



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