British oil exploration off the disputed islands in the South Atlantic is stoking UK-Argentine tensions. Daniel Litvin comments
Recent weeks have seen a flurry of oil industry and diplomatic excitement around the Falklands, the British-ruled islands off the coast of Argentina.
Speculation over the area’s potential oil and gas reserves – which some estimates have put as high as 60 billion barrels – has been rife for the past decade. In February, British oil firms began drilling in the North Falklands basin to finally establish how much oil it holds.
The drilling has brought renewed diplomatic protests from Argentina, which disputes British sovereignty over the islands and in 1982 fought a brief and unsuccessful war to wrest control from the UK. Argentina has recently put restrictions on Falklands-related shipping in its waters. Latin American and Caribbean governments have also backed Argentina’s claims to the islands.
Critical Resource director Daniel Litvin – in his capacity as a fellow of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) – has been providing commentary on the story in the media. Please click on the following links for a selection of his comments.
‘UK oil drilling off Falklands may harm ties with L America’ – Xinhua
‘Regional leaders to support Argentina in Falklands dispute’ – France24
‘UK, Argentina dispute over Falklands reignites’ – Deutsche Welle
‘Toil, trouble return to the Falklands’ – The Hindu Business Line
Television appearances have included BBC News at Ten and Bloomberg.
Daniel Litvin’s 2009 briefing paper for Chatham House on ‘Oil, Gas and International Insecurity’ can be found by clicking here.
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Mlenny