Argentina takes action against foreign oil companies operating on the South Atlantic continental shelf
Argentina’s foreign and energy ministries announced on Wednesday that sanctions would be imposed on three companies for their illegal activities in the South Atlantic.
According to the Argentine authorities, the companies were engaged in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons on the Argentine continental shelf, in the north of the Falklands basin.
Two of the companies are British and the other Israeli, authorities said at a joint press conference by Secretary of the Malvinas, Antarctica and South Atlantic, Daniel Filmus, and his colleague at Energy, DarÃo MartÃnez.
UK companies Chrysaor Holdings Limited and Harbor Energy Plc. The companies and the Israeli Navitas Petroleum LP have received notifications of violation of Argentina’s hydrocarbon laws, adopted in 2011 and 2013, which require companies operating on the continental shelf to have express authorization from the Argentine government.
The sanctions range from a ban on working between 5 and 20 years to work in Argentina, in addition to fines that can lead to preventive embargoes.
Companies now have 20 working days to exercise their defense.
âCompanies are not allowed to operate nor have they applied for authorization and that’s why we started this process, which is about notification and penalties. The Ministry of Energy provided the technical knowledge and the files, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will pursue the claims, âexplained MartÃnez.
Filmus also pointed out that these companies received notes of discouragement last year but have continued nonetheless. He also underlined that Argentina’s actions in this regard have been supported by multilateral organizations such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), Mercosur and the Ibero-American Summit.
The Argentine secretary also said that these organizations have issued “resolutions for there to be bilateral negotiation in the dispute with the United Kingdom”, but also invoked United Nations resolution 31/49 “which establishes that neither party can take unilateral action â.
Filmus added that these three companies would be in addition to the other eight oil companies that were sanctioned for the same issue between 2011 and 2015.