Friday, January 04, 2013

A Sage Observer Gets the Falklands Wrong

Walter Russell Mead is usually sharp as a tack but he gets this one terribly wrong:
The Falklands, windswept rocks a few hundred miles from the Argentinean coast, are home to no more than 3,000 people, most of whom claim descent from the UK as well as a stark loyalty to the land of their ancestors. The islands offer little value, aside from an unknown (possibly negligible) amount of oil under the seabed, and vast quantities of kelp.
Yes there is alot of meaningless organic material there - like miles of foot deep penguin shit, which members of my family can attest to - but paltry sums of oil is not quite right. 

But exploration and production around the remote, wind-swept islands -- best known as the location of a brief, bloody war 28 years ago -- have been handicapped by a harsh climate and dicey politics.
Analysts say that as much as 60 billion barrels of high-grade oil could be found in the 200-square-mile economic zone surrounding the islands. That could make the Falklands one of the world's largest oil reserves, comparable with the North Sea, which so far has produced about 40 billion barrels.
Yes, Argentina gets all hot and bothered and attempts to divert attention when they mismanage things at home as is the case now, and maybe perhaps, although doubtful, that David Cameron can burnish his Thatcherite bona fides by looking tough on the Falklands, but WMR is simply wrong that this is a godforsaken pile of rocks that no one should care about.  The Falklands have, as they say in the oil biz, "prospectivity".  And with several hundred billion dollars worth of infrastructure and oil services development being spent in not to far away Brazil right now, with an eye to making Brazil the next Saudi Arabia, even a modicum of oil development in the Falklands will be quite economic if it can piggyback on the Brazilian oil boom.  The Falklands look more strategic for Britain everyday and the Argentinian claim looks like it always has...damn lame.


Post a Comment

<< Home