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John Daly

John Daly

Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European…

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Brazil Reiterates Support for Argentina over Falklands

The British lion south of the border is looking more than a tad scrofulous these days.

On 29 July in the wake of a meeting between Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia, the pair issued a joint communiqué in which Brazil reaffirmed its support for Argentina’s claim to the Falkland islands, which Buenos Aires refers to the as Malvinas.

Brazil reiterated its intention of banning all Falklands’ flagged vessels from calling at Brazilian ports and described as “illegal” the current British oil exploration in the Falkland Islands’ territorial waters.

The communiqué noted, “The President of Brazil reiterates the support of the country to the legitimate rights of the Argentine republic in the sovereignty dispute relative to the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich islands and its adjoining maritime spaces,” adding that “this position stands on the long tradition of Brazilian diplomacy in support for the Argentine claim and which is based on the deep rooted historic event of 1833 when through an act of force Argentina was expulsed from the Malvinas territory.”

In the specific paragraph dedicated to shipping the communiqué stated that “The President of the Federative Republic of Brazil reaffirms its commitment with the 26 November 2010 UNASUR (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas: Union of South American Nations) Declaration to adopt in conformity with International Law and respective domestic legislations, all measures susceptible of being regulated to impede the access to its ports of vessels flying the ‘illegal’ colors of the Malvinas Islands.”

The joint release also emphasized Brazil’s and Argentina’s solidarity by labeling Britain’s current hydrocarbons prospecting in Falkland waters as “illegal,” adding that the explorations along the Argentine continental shelf “are unilateral actions incompatible with the resolutions of United Nations on the matter and to not contribute at all to reach a definitive solution to the dispute.” Finally, lest the mandarins of Whitehall be in any doubt as to where Brazilian sympathies lay, Article 26 of the joint communiqué noted that the Argentine President Kirchner thanked Brazil for its standing support in this question, so sensitive, and in particular for its the support in a 21 June meeting of the UN Special Decolonization Committee.

Ah, “Iron Maiden” Prime Minister Thatcher would have known what to do with those stroppy Argies – assemble a task force and kick them back to Buenos Aires, which is what she did in 1982, in a brief but violent conflict that noted Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges compared to “two bald men fighting over a comb.”

Quick! Send the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier.

Oh, right, it was decommissioned in March.
Now, the Falklands are nothing so much as a dim relic of Britain’s colonial past, when they represented the last port of call for Royal Navy warships and British merchantmen preparing to round Cape Horn, usually after making a final port of call in – Rio de Janeiro. After the Royal Navy transitioned to coal, the islands proved their worth during World War One as a coaling station, but the reality is that they’ve been little more for nearly two centuries than a stopover port of call.

That is, until the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNLOS) recognized 12 nautical miles as normal for territorial seas and waters and provided international recognition of 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones, or EEZs.  The Falklands suddenly went from windswept colonial outpost to potential resource base.

But ugly fiscal realities rearing their heads in London may put paid to London replaying the Falklands War. A report published on 3 August by Parliament’s Defence Select Committee has MPs suggesting that the Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron has sacrificed national security in a quest for savings in the wake of last year’s defense review, which saw the Royal Navy decommission its aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and her sistership HMS Ark Royal and its Harrier jump jets, along with 5,000 personnel.

The Royal Navy is now down to HMS Illustrious and the UK's first Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier will not be completed until 2016 at the earliest, and may not be ready for active service until 2020.

In a poignant note, clicking on the Royal Navy’s website, http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk “aircraft carriers” subsection, one gets “Error 404 : Page not found.”
If there is a silver lining to all this, it is that the recent oil exploration wells drilled by British firms around the Falklands have all come up dry. On the plus side, in June Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the UK’s commitment to doubling exports to Brazil to £4 billion by 2015.

In the Brave New World of the 21st century, previously worthless rocky islets because of UNCLOS may well become flash points between competing powers, most notably in the South China Sea, where China claims sovereignty over all of the Spratly and Paracel islands, much to the distress of neighboring Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Unlike the Falklands, these waters have been determined to contain hydrocarbon deposits.


Speaking of China, Chinese businessmen submitted a bid for HMS Ark Royal to the UK's Ministry of Defence Disposal Services Agency online auction platform, obviously finding the warship, built in 1978, more attractive than unused printer cartridges, old office furniture and outdated uniforms.

The HMS Ark Royal 's motto was “Zeal Does Not Rest.” Apparently, neither do fiscal realities.

Is Britain willing to jeopardize its booming trade with Latin America and Brazil in particular for 1,500 sheepherders? The answer was clear three decades ago - now it isn’t, especially in light of all those dry boreholes.

By. John C.K. Daly of OilPrice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on August 04 2011 said:
    This is ridiculous. Rockhopper reported significant commercial flows in their Sea-Lion appraisal well this summer.
  • Anonymous on August 04 2011 said:
    :lol: , "Sea-Lion" discovery represents only 8 days of the north sea production.The zone has been explored for 10 years and only an small discovery.
  • Anonymous on August 04 2011 said:
    Not true. Shell found oil there back in 1998 but deemed the situation not to be commercially viable. Nowadays, the price of oil is 8 times higher and advances in field technology mean the oil can be extracted for a large profit.
  • Anonymous on August 04 2011 said:
    Please don't lie."Shell" explored the area back in 1998, and quit."Exxon" WikiLeaks: Falklands oil insufficient for Exxon news"http://www.domainb.com/industry/oil_gas/20101206_executive.html"Argentina drilled for oil near Falklands Islands basin and also failed."http://gcaptain.com/falkland-islands-revisited-deepwater?27530"The Falklands area is not very prolific :cry: :
  • Anonymous on August 05 2011 said:
    Thank you Mr Daly - I see that I will have to change my extremely low opinion of Prime Minister Cameron. If he is smart enough to get rid of those worthless military assets that you are apparently so fond of, he may be smart enough to stop talking about protecting civilians on the other side of the world, and instead concentrate on protecting those in London and other UK cities.And if he does that, then he may indeed be a UK prime minister the world needs.You know, the one whose motto is 'Stupidity Does not Rest', and so in the future it is unwelcome in the UK.
  • Anonymous on August 05 2011 said:
    if I were a 'tru-Brit' I'd want to knock a few hreads together for suggesting abandoning the Falkland islanders...However as I'm not a tru-Brit any more than is Mr Cameron, or any other sleazebag in parliament, those doiughty Falklanders will probably end up being evacuated on the Britannia (oh sorry she was scrapped by Labour) or another coal steamer from the Falklands to end their days onj a Liverpool council estate taking £65 p week looking for menial labour (no shheep in liverpool; lots of people baaahing though... :-* ).On condition that the UK can come to a gentleman's agreement about oil or gold or diamonds or rare earth elements discovered in that G forsaken part of the world.
  • Anonymous on August 05 2011 said:
    Thatcher would be turning in her grave if she werecdead (is she yet?) or resting in a mausoleum like vLenin. She'll haunt the corridors of power with her head underneath her arm, shouting fight for the Falklands. Nobody listening though... :sad: Rule Britannia Britannia rules the waves; no she doesn't she was scrapped in 200? Now we're just Uk plc; any takers...? :-x
  • Anonymous on August 05 2011 said:
    To suggest that Britain cannot defend the Falklands is absolute rubbish, at this very moment a nuclear submarine is in the area, and a squadron of Tornados sits on the falklands, ready to blow the arhies to kingdom come. Bring it on argies.
  • Anonymous on August 06 2011 said:
    Let's talk about invasions.If the area were at least "oil interesting" the USA would be the first... hahaha!Come on! There is no oil there!
  • Anonymous on August 07 2011 said:
    Right on, ricard. The war in Libya was/is about oil and nothing else. I wonder how anyone can be dumb enough to think otherwise. Of course, the USA would not involve itself directly in an adventure in the South Atlantic, but it would be a simple matter to find someone to carry the can.Let me suggest the Swedes. They did away with their (real) army in order to have a few battalions to interfere in places where they have no business. Sending them to fight for some rock in the vicinity of imaginary oil makes a lot of sense.
  • Anonymous on August 14 2011 said:
    *sigh*Ark Royal wasn't a proper carrier and the sea harrier(only plane BVR capable) was retired 7 years ago. Moreover, Argentina couldn't take the islands if they were defended by boy scouts. Fact!Ironically, the RN today is far more capable of blue ocean/amphibious fighting as compared to 1982(was just plain lucky back then), in 2020 it will be considerably more so.
  • Anonymous on August 15 2011 said:
    for the last 10 years I've been astounded by the ease with which the British from the PM downwards can talk as if they are still a major power capable of significant power projection. They are spending shitloads of money on stupid wars, and on building 2, yes 2, new aircraft carriers. At the same time their deficit is almost as bad as that of Greece, and their jobs have mostly gone to the Far East (manufacturing, shipbuilding, cars etc.). They could only send 7-10,000 men to Afghanistan at any one time, of which prob about 2000 combat troops. Yet watching BBC video of them you would think the UK was mking THE major contribution to protecting and rebuilding the place. 'We're at last getting to grips with Helmand the new NW frontier...etc.'. Bollocks... :-x
  • Anonymous on August 15 2011 said:
    Truth is the British are sick and tired of pointless wars fought for Uncle Sam (Taliban reneged on Texas (GBush)Unocol)by spineless politicos in Whitehall. Noone gives a damn about the Falkands except for people who sing 'Land of Hope and Glory' at the Proms, (the Mad Hatter brigade), and Rupert Murdoch's the Sun on instructions from...? ('Go get them Argies, ragheads, n****gs etc.Lads!'). Lets forget about the Falklands, Gibralter, the new NW Helmand frontier and focus on the new insurgency aka 'criminality' in Tottenham, etc., Manchester, Notts,nBristol, etc. where a new non-Establishment culture seems to be evolving. Sending in the Marines, Paras to Tottenham like they did in NI many years ago might wake a few people up to UK realities...

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