Falklands : Shall Falkland Islanders be Embattled Oil Barons?
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 08.02.2010 (Article Archived on 22.03.2010)
Articles touting untold riches for the Falklands when crude is discovered in commercial quantities are of late abounding.
SHALL FALKLAND ISLANDERS BE EMBATTLED OIL BARONS?
An Editorial by J. Brock (FINN)
Articles touting untold riches for the Falklands when crude is discovered in commercial quantities are of late abounding. Authors mention increased activity at FIPASS with equipment and supplies as well as outstanding seismic survey results as a reason why we should all be rolling in cash. Add to this the bias some media have for the game, “let’s you and him fight,” and you have a luscious scenario ripe for naive readers’ eyes.
Mainly it will be the Falkland Islands Government profiting from this exploration round, in acreage rentals, fees and taxes both from the exploration companies and from income tax owed by Falkland Islanders who have profited from this exploration round. It is mainly the larger companies that have operated in the Falklands for a good number of years that have profited from this because they own infrastructure that lends itself to the Exploration industry.
The rest of us will breathe easier when additional revenue helps to balance the budget and stave off erosion of essential services like Medical care and Education. Serious oil money won’t come until the Falklands have an established hydrocarbons industry, enabling FIG to have a steady stream of income to put towards our reserves and projects that now are in limbo, for example, the return of the Holiday Credit Scheme. Money could be put towards port facilities and upgrading Stanley airport to ASSI standards. I have every confidence the money will be put to good use in benefiting the community. However, saying that each Falkland Islander will be an oil millionaire is OTT and not very helpful.
“Let’s You and Him Fight:”
I have often thought that people who try to re-kindle animosity between Argentina and Britain over the Falklands need their heads examined. A few years ago some media outlets tried to do this over fishing in the South-west Atlantic – now it’s with the hydrocarbons industry. Yes, little wars make money for media but no one wants a conflict here. The sky isn’t going to fall in and overseas students can rest easy as there have been assurances on all sides of the international spectrum that there will be no future armed conflict over the Falklands.
What Falkland Islanders want the others to understand is that there is an element of economic harassment with our Fishing’ and Hydrocarbons’ industries. Scientists and other officials have been disinvited from important international conferences and woefully turned out of others because of the Argentine claim to sovereignty over these staunchly British Islands. No doubt wealth and business opportunities we acquire will be tempered by the stream of economic dirty tricks like banning charter flights to the Falklands.
We haven’t seen the last of the diplomatic tit for tat incidents between Britain and Argentina over the Falklands’ hydrocarbons industry. But we don’t expect to see it fester. We do see through rhetoric meant for consumption in the UK as well as in Argentina.