UPDATE 2-Argentine judge orders seizure of Falklands drillers' assets

sábado 27 de junio de 2015 18:29 GYT

* Judge orders seizure of bank accounts, other property

* U.S. firm Noble Energy among those with assets to be frozen

* Argentina taking harder line ahead of October elections (Adds comments from public prosecutor's office)

By Maximiliano Rizzi

BUENOS AIRES, June 27 (Reuters) - An Argentine judge has ordered the seizure of assets of oil drilling companies operating in the Falklands Islands, including property held by U.S. firm Noble Energy, as the country takes a firmer line on the disputed territory ahead of October elections.

Lilian Herraez, a federal judge in Tierra del Fuego, ordered the seizure of $156 million in bank accounts, boats and other property, the government said on Saturday.

The companies named in the order were Premier Oil Plc , Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd, Rockhopper Exploration Plc, Noble Energy Inc and Edison International Spa.

A source with knowledge of the situation said the companies in question do not generally hold any assets in Argentina or use Argentine waters.

But the public prosecutor's office said in a statement that investigators "had identified the assets of the foreign companies and discovered that one of them, U.S. firm Noble Energy, has a local office registered in Argentina." Authorities would move to freeze those assets, it said.   Continuación...