Ar­gen­tine em­bargo or­dered over Falk­lands probe

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

An Ar­gen­tine fed­eral judge has or­dered an em­bargo on some US$156 mil­lion owned by com­pa­nies ex­plor­ing for oil off the UK’s Falk­lands Is­lands, over which Ar­gentina claims sovereignty. She also has or­dered them to stop their ex­plo­rations

The rul­ing by Judge Lil­ian Her­raez, pub­lished Satur­day on the gov­ern­ment tax pros­e­cu­tor’s web­site, will be largely sym­bolic since none of the com­pa­nies ap­pears to have oper­a­tions in the South Amer­i­can na­tion and the Bri­tish flag flies over the Falk­lands.

The com­pa­nies named in­clude Rock­hop­per Ex­plo­ration PLC, Premier Oil PLC and Falk­land Oil and Gas Lim­ited of the United King­dom, as well as Noble Energy Inc. of the U.S. and Italy’s Edi­son In­ter­na­tional SpA. The rul­ing did not spec­ify how much each would owe.

The judge said the com­pa­nies lack Ar­gen­tine gov­ern­ment au­tho- riza­tion for their ex­plo­rations and also ac­cused them of con­tam­i­nat­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ar­gentina has long claimed the is­lands off its At­lantic shore and staged an in­va­sion in 1982 that was de­feated by Bri­tain.

The UK says the is­lands are a self-gov­ern­ing en­tity un­der its pro­tec­tion, and that is­lan­ders can­not be forced to ac­cept Ar­gen­tine sovereignty against their will, as is­lan­ders voted in a 2013 ref­er­en­dum to re­main a Bri­tish ter­ri­tory.

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