Desire Petroleum finds oil off Falklands

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British exploration group Desire Petroleum said Thursday that it had made an oil discovery off the coast of the Falkland Islands.

"Desire Petroleum Plc, the oil and gas company wholly focussed on the North Falkland Basin, wishes to advise that the 14/15-2 Rachel North well has reached a total depth of 3,052 metres.

"Preliminary data collected indicate that this well is an oil discovery," the company said in a statement.

Desire added that it would carry out further tests "to assess the significance" of the discovery.

British companies are heavily involved in oil exploration off the Falklands, which lie 450 kilometers (280 miles) off the South American Atlantic coast.

Britain and Argentina went to war over the islands in 1982. Britain successfully reclaimed the islands following an Argentine military invasion but Buenos Aires has never abandoned its ownership claim and has raised its affirmations of sovereignty amid the prospect of a major oil find.

© 2010 AFP

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