Thursday, January 19, 2012

Squid Wars and Rumors of Squid Wars as Falklands Oil Could Triple British Reserves (BOR.L; RKH.L)

A couple stories that dropped out of the terminals. First up Foreign Policy's Passport blog:

...This year will make the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War -- a conflict that today seems to belong to another geopolitical epoch entirely. But last week, as the Telegraph reports, we seem to have entered the history repeating itself as farce phase (standard British media caveats apply):
Argentina has reportedly started a "squid war" against the Falkland Islands, telling fishermen to catch the creatures before they reach the waters around the British territory.
Argentina reportedly hopes the orders will deal a blow to the Falkland Islands' fishing industry, which is worth up to £45 million a year – half of which comes from catches of Illex squid...MORE
And from Bloomberg:
Thirty years after Margaret Thatcher fought a 74-day war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, the prospect of an oil boom is reviving tensions.

Oil explorers are targeting 8.3 billion barrels in the waters around the islands this year, three times the U.K.’s reserves. Borders & Southern Petroleum Plc (BOR) will drill the Stebbing prospect next month, one of three Falkland wells that Morgan Stanley ranks among the world’s top 15 offshore prospects this year. 
Meanwhile, Rockhopper Exploration Plc (RKH) is seeking $2 billion from a larger oil company to develop the Sea Lion field, the islands’ first economically viable oil find.

“The area is underexplored and highly prospective,” said New York-based Morgan Stanley analyst Evan Calio. “These could be like the high-impact wells in Ghana and Brazil a few years ago that opened up a whole host of basins.”

A major drilling success will further raise the political temperature as Argentina maintains its claim over the U.K’s South Atlantic territory, 300 miles (483 kilometers) from the Latin American coast. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Britain is taking her country’s resources, while Thatcher’s successor David Cameron yesterday accused Argentina of a “colonialist” attitude that didn’t account for islanders’ rights....MORE