A consortium led by Repsol is planning to drill for oil in international waters between Argentina and the Falkland Islands, it has been revealed.
Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) and Pan American Energy are partners in the consortium which is planning to spend $98m on the project. Each company has almost a one-third share in the project.
Exploration is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2010, 289km off the Argentine coast.
The companies will begin by drilling exploratory holes at a depth of about 500m.
The consortium's announcement comes after Rockhopper Exploration declared in May that it was advancing on an oil and gas exploration project in the North Falkland basin, situated to the north-east of Cuenca Malvinas.
The governments of the UK and Argentina recently presented updated competing claims to the United Nations over rights to these areas.