Falklands Not Turning Into the Oil Giant that Some Had Predicted

From Platts

The Falklands War 30 years ago had many causes, but the potential for offshore oil reserves was always thought to be one of the reasons why Argentina tried to reclaim the archipelago by force. Now, drilling actually has begun and so far, the results are far from spectacular. In addition, Argentina’s political stance isn’t helping. Robert Perkins discusses the E&P landscape in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead.

Diplomatic posturing over Falkland Islands sovereignty has not been the only thing keeping the disputed South Atlantic islands in the headlines this year.

The frontier play has been abuzz with news flow from the oil industry in recent months, with the entrance of deep-pocketed explorers and disappointments on some of the area’s biggest drilling prospects.

The political offensive by Argentina’s President Cristina Kirscher had already begun to ratchet up well before the latest drilling campaign off the archipelago led to Rockhopper Exploration’s landmark Sea Lion oil discovery in 2010.

But, so far, drilling off the Falklands has come nowhere close to realizing the multi-billion barrel oil potential that the region has been predicted to possess by British geologists more than a decade ago.

The Sea Lion find holds some 400 million barrels of recoverable oil, a huge discovery for the North Sea but not so impressive for the remote British outpost.

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