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Oil drilling begins in the Falkland Islands

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 21 February 2010

Drilling for oil off the Falkland Islands is due to begin today, despite strong opposition from Argentina.

Falklands oil rig, Ocean Guardian

The oil rig Ocean Guardian arrived in the sea around the Falkland Islands at the end of last week to look for oil, but its presence has renewed tensions with Argentina which claims sovereignty over the area.

Yesterday, Argentina's deputy foreign minister, Victorio Taccetti, told Channel 4 News his country is prepared to take further measures against the drilling.

"Faced with a unilateral act which we deem illegitimate, we will take measures to defend our sovereignty; these are always peaceful measures," he said.

There is already been something of a virtual invasion: hackers managed to get into the Island's local newspaper website, the Penguin News, which this morning, suddenly featured Argentinean patriotic songs.

The evidence strongly suggests that this was the work of hackers from Argentina, who even left an address.

The offices of Desire Petroleum were quiet this afternoon, but the oil rig Ocean Guardian is expected to start drilling today.

There are reports today that a small number of UK special forces personnel came to check on the island's defences at the beginning of the month, and security is something that is ever present on the minds of people in the Falklands.

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