Looks like the Argentine government in an attempt to bully its way into potential oil revenues from the Falklands, is going to punish any company with Argentine operations involved with Falklands oil exploration:
The Argentine government is looking into the British oil companies involved in the Falkland Islands exploratory drilling operation checking on their possible links to interests in Argentina (and if so the infringement of legislation of Argentine legislation), according to reports in the Buenos Aires press….
Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd’s associate Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton is one of the world’s leading mining companies and is also involved in copper exploratory mining in the north of Argentina….
However it is not clear yet how the Argentine government could “intimidate” major corporations or financial institutions without further deteriorating its international image in business affairs when it is trying a comeback to world money markets.
The Argentine President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, doesn’t give a damn about money markets, financial obligations or private property rights and so would probably just nationalise BHP assets. This latest move would come on top of an effective blockade of the Falklands, with Argentina basically banning shipping between the two territories, hampering the re-supply of oil exploration operations.
Kevin Rudd should pull in the Argentine ambassador with a ‘please explain’. Failing that, working up plans to send an expeditionary air and naval task force would be a prudent response to the current situation. How the task force would get to the Falklands would be another matter. It would need Chile’s co-operation and we probably wouldn’t be ready until early 2011.
I’m thinking 12 x F/A-18F with JSOW, 12 x F/A-18 HUG with JASSM, 3 x AP-3C, 2 x KC-30a, 2 x Wedgetail, 1 x C-17, 2 x C-130J, 1 x FFG UP, 2 x FFH ASMD, 1 x SSK, 1 x MHC, 1 x LPA with a detachment of S-70s, RBS-70, CDT, SAS, etc….and any ancillary nuclear bombs that may be laying around in Kevin’s basement. I know, dream on….