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 ...