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Oil Grab in Falkland Islands Seen Tripling U.K. Reserves: Energy

The world’s largest oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc face a dilemma: whether the potential of a virgin basin outweighs the risk of a worsening international dispute.

January 25, 2012, 7:20 AM EST

By Brian Swint

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — Thirty years after Margaret Thatcher fought a 74-day war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, the prospect of an oil boom is reviving tensions.

Oil explorers are targeting 8.3 billion barrels in the waters around the islands this year, three times the U.K.’s reserves. Borders & Southern Petroleum Plc will drill the Stebbing prospect next month, one of three Falkland wells that Morgan Stanley ranks among the world’s top 15 offshore prospects this year. Meanwhile, Rockhopper Exploration Plc is seeking $2 billion from a larger oil company to develop the Sea Lion field, the islands’ first economically viable oil find. read more

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