Falkland Oil Driller to Press on Despite Argentina Legal Threat

Source: Reuters 6/6/2015, Location: South America

Falkland Oil and Gas (FOGL.L) plans to continue drilling into next year, its chief executive said, defying legal threats made by the Argentine government against oil explorers in the Falkland Islands.

A group of oil drillers, which also include Premier Oil (PMO.L), Edison (EDNn.MI), Noble (NBL.N) and Rockhopper (RKH.L), resumed their Falkland Islands exploration campaign in March and have made a series of successful finds since.

However, their drilling work has angered Argentina, which continues to dispute the sovereignty of the islands and launched a domestic court case in April against executives of the companies involved.

"I can't go to Argentina and nearby countries. But operationally, this has no effect," Tim Bushell, Falkland Oil and Gas chief executive, said.

The companies are continuing their 2015 exploration campaign as planned and are counting on hiring a drilling rig at lower rates to expand their plans into next year.

"We'll negotiate a lower rate with the rig and other services. We conservatively expect to get a 20-25 percent reduction," he told Reuters.

The group has currently contracted the Eirik Haude drilling rig for a six-well drilling campaign that is expected to end around October.


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