Monday, 16 September 2013

News Direct 9th - 13th September 2013

This is the news from last week.


Oil Ban

Premier Oil has been added to the list of companies banned by Argentina from operating in the country. The Argentine Government said it was placing the ban because of the company’s hydrocarbons activities in the Falklands which it described as ‘illegal and clandestine’.

It follows last month’s banning of Borders & Southern Petroleum, Desire Petroleum, Argos Resources and Falkland Oil and Gas. None of the companies involved have any business interests in Argentina. Rockhopper Exploration has not yet been added to the list.

Royal Protest

An anti-Britain protest took place in Buenos Aires last weekend during the visit to Argentina by the Princess Royal.

Protestors burned an effigy of the Queen ahead of an announcement of the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires which the Princess Royal was attending. Around 250 demonstrators burned flags and chanted against British involvement in the International Olympic Committee.

Falklands at the CPA

The Falklands message of self-determination was delivered by Members of the Legislative Assembly Barry Elsby and Roger Edwards last week before a large audience at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held in South Africa. The meeting was held following a Small Branches Conference which the MLAs attended.

The Falklands in Gibraltar

MLA Ian Hansen and FIG London Representative Sukey Cameron represented the Falklands today at the events to mark Gibraltar’s National Day. The day marks the anniversary of Gibraltar’s 1967 sovereignty referendum.

Representatives of eight Overseas Territories attended the events. MLA Hansen was also involved while in Gibraltar in meetings in advance of the Joint Ministerial Council between the Overseas Territories Governments and the UK Government which will take place at the end of the year.

The events in Gibraltar today have included a large rally which MLA Hansen says was a fantastic occasion.

Local News

Pool Turns Spa

It has been announced that as part of a programme of improvement works at Stanley Leisure Centre, new spa facilities will be installed.

A Jacuzzi and sauna will be installed where the toddler pool was previously situated. A statement by the Falkland Islands Government said that the decision to replace the toddler pool was taken following advice about its suitability and safety.

The decision has proven controversial with comments made online questioning the rationale behind the decision and the lack of consultation on the issue.

Simon Fletcher, the Director of Central Services says that the toddler pool has been underutilised for some time and following advice they received from the STA, they took the decision to develop the space with new facilities as part of the pool refurbishment. He says that the Jacuzzi and sauna were improvements requested by members through their last customer survey.

Mr Fletcher says that the safety of all their guests is paramount and that they would like to encourage parents to continue to bring their babies and toddlers into the main swimming pool where they can offer the necessary support and safe environment.


Chamber of Commerce AGM

The Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce held its AGM recently.

In a speech to Chamber members, President of the Chamber of Commerce Roger Spink said that the Islands are at the threshold of a new chapter in their economic development.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce says that he is upbeat about the Falklands economy going forward over the next year.

Minerals Analysis

The Mineral Resources Committee this week supported a proposal for the Falkland Islands Government to fund 50% of the cost of a proposed two year research programme which would address environmental data gaps prior to oil production operations beginning in Falklands waters.

A gap analysis working group was set up as a spin-off from the Falkland Islands Offshore Hydrocarbons Environmental Forum and this has produced a proposal which focuses on what the working group perceive to be the highest priority data gaps.

The Mineral Resources Committee endorsed the action plan which had been presented previously to the Environmental Committee, and supported the provision of FIG funding for up to 50% of the cost of the proposed programme. It was also agreed that the Director of Mineral Resources should approach the members of the Falkland Islands Production Licensees Association to request the remaining 50% of the funding required to support the project.

It is estimated that the total project cost will be just under £600,000.

Minerals Legislation

Also at this week’s meeting of the Mineral Resources Committee, a recommendation was supported to initiate a review to assess the potential requirement of additional environmental legislation to ensure adequate regulation of the Falklands offshore oil industry.

It was proposed that a review of regulation is carried out and led by the Department of Mineral Resources in conjunction with the Environmental Planning Department. The Director of Mineral Resources Stephen Luxton said the review was necessary to make sure that the legislative regime is watertight.

The Committee also noted the possible requirement for significant additional funding to recruit external expertise.

Local Events


Invenio Falkland Islands Ltd has announced that it has teamed up with two business consultants based in the North East of Scotland to develop Falklink.

Falklink has been engaged by the Chamber of Commerce funded by the Falkland Islands Government to undertake a skills gap analysis of Falkland Islands readiness for any upcoming oil industry requirements. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of the opportunities that lie ahead and to assist Falklands businesses to rise to the challenge of the emerging hydrocarbons industry.

The project will feature two seminars with the first to be held in the Islands in October. One to one sessions will also be available.


Redcar Memorial

A memorial to former Governor of the Falklands Sir Rex Hunt was unveiled at a ceremony in his home town of Redcar last week.

In the shape of a lectern and coupled with a Governor’s sword, the memorial was commissioned by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to pay tribute to Sir Rex.

Sir Rex’s widow, Lady Mavis attended the service and said that it was wonderful to know that he is being remembered in his hometown.

During the services the Last Post and the national anthem were played and there were prayers in honour of Sir Rex who died last November age 87. Prayers were also said for the people of the Falklands and those who died in the islands during the 1982 war.

Councillor Josh Mason commissioned the memorial and said that it was a moving ceremony.

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