Friday, 12 February 2010

A compelling reason for a blue-water Navy

News that Argentina has blocked an oil supply ship headed for the Falklands usefully reminds us of the extent of both our exclusive economic areas around the Falklands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands and our claim on the continental shelf. These oil-rich strata have the potential to dwarf North Sea deposits - see the comparative illustration in Desire's Prospectus.

And what's more, the EU has no share in any of it. And neither, ahem, have the Scots.

The first rig is due to go into commercial production this month, with more to follow - solely in the Falklands EEA.

These areas will need committed and visible protection for at least the next half-century, which means a blue-water Navy with the means to project power across the region. With royalties of 9%, if production reaches 1m barrels a day (about a sixth of the North Sea Oil peak) at a price of around $75/barrel this will earn the UK some $2.46bn a year - around 6% of the defence budget. At peak North Sea production levels, royalties would be nearly $15bn a year, plus Corporation tax at 26%, plus energy security ...


Anonymous said...

And neither, ahem, have the Scots.

Indeed? The Falkland Islands were annexed by the United Kingdom of which Scotland is a constituent part. The Falkland Islands are not now and never have been a part of England nor were they ever ruled or governed by England as an entity distinct from the wider British state.

In the event of Scottish independence, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would cease to exist and would be replaces by an independent Scotland and a rump United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. At that point, we would then need to discuss the division of overseas ex-British territories (including the continental shelves and attendant mineral resources) in accordance with the legal principles set out in the Anglo-Norwegian Continental Shelf Case and the North Sea Continental Shelf Case.

You have some interesting posts, Raedwald, but you really need to think through the legal implications of what you're saying. Oh and you might care to note the contribution of 2 Scots Guards (as well as the many Scots in the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines, Parachute Regiment, etc) in liberating the British territory of the Falkland Islands from the Argentine junta before you decide to write us out of history.

Blue Eyes said...

Anon, It's not the English who are getting their thermal knickers in a twist about a potential post-independence financial settlement, is it? Are you saying that an independent Scotland would want a fraction of what's left of the Empire, or would be strong enough to demand it? Hahahahahaha.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Leaving aside our silly internal squabbles for a moment, I think if Argentina decides it wants all this stuff, it will just take it.

After a bit of huffing and puffing, either Gordo or Call-me-Dave will simply accept the inevitable - which is what the Argentine leaders expected last time, but they made the mistake of not realising who they were up against.

Now, our Navy has been emasculated, our leaders have no confidence, Obama won't help, the UN and the EU are useless, and events will take their course.

My prediction: if anyone does ever exploit those oilfields, it won't be the British.

Krauser said...

Either they'll be given up to the Argentines, or signed over to the Scots on McBroon's last day in office.

The notion that there is anyone at all left in government or civil service who has Britain's (much less England's) interests in mind is fanciful.

Anonymous said...

A pedant writes: I think you mean the South Sandwich Islands. The other lot is where Obama is supposed to have been born.