British and U.S. oil companies searching in waters near the Falkland Islands had $156 million and more assets taken Saturday as part of a controversial order by an Argentine judge. The asset seizures trigger fresh memories of the Falklands war of 1982, which British and Argentine forces clash over island territories.
The war for the territory ended after 74 days, and almost 1,000 people died. It only ceased after a British force pushed the Argentine troops out.
Judge Lilian Herraez, from the Tierra del Fuego region of southern Argentina, ordered all exploration operations to be ceased.
Recent years have seen a sharp rise in animosity between Britain and Argentina because of the islands and the discovery of oil potential offshore.
According to Herraez, the groups are searching in their territorial waters, but it is not known how Argentina will enforce the seizure of money and equipment which includes ships and other elements.
Argentina continues to claim to the lands, called the Malvinas, yet the British refuse to comply.
The companies involved are mostly British--Rockhopper Exploration plc, Premier Oil plc, Falkland Oil and Gas Limited, with the U.S. firms listed as Noble Energy Inc., and Edison International SpA.
Argentina’s judge will still seek to enforce the ruling and have both British and U.S. oil companies moved out of the waters near the Falkland Islands, as well as seize their assets.