A Hammer Blow to Argentina

24 Jan

The share price of Rockhopper surged yesterday on rumour that Anadarko Petroleum has made an offer for the Falkland Islands oil exploration company.

British newspapers are suggesting that a provisional offer of around $1.6 billion has been made by executives, who have been visiting the Islands over the last week. Anadarko Petroleum is an American company with connections to the higher echelons of the Pentagon and the White House and initial news reports in Argentina already see this as a blow to President Cristina’s Fernandez’s aspirations over the British Overseas Territory.

The Buenos Aires Herald described the rumour as, ” a hammer blow to Argentina.” Its report went on to see the move as, “..  tacit approval to UK sovereignty.”

This year is proving to be a pivotal one in the history of the Falkland Islands. Already 2012 marks 30 years since the Falklands War in 1982 when Argentina attempted to seize the Islands in an invasion, only for British forces to re-take the Islands 74 days later. Few countries believed that the United Kingdom had the capability to achieve this, but the determination of its troops caused many strategic planners to review their opinions.

The year also sees the deployment to the Falklands of the heir to the throne, Prince William, as part of his air training programme and a further Royal Visit as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. It is also 179 years since Britain repelled Argentina’s first attempt to install a military force on East Falkland in 1833.

Britain’s arguments over ownership started with Spain in 1766 and came close to war in 1770 before Spain, and its ally France, backed down. Argentina claims to have ‘inherited’ Spain’s disputed ownership, so it would seem that this argument will run and run.

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