I found this paragraph in the Spanish wikipedia entry about peat.

Grupo de malvinenses paleando turba hacia los años 1950.

A group of Falklanders shoveling peat around the 1950s. Peat was the only form of fuel used in the Falklands until the arrival of the Argentine companies YPF and Gas del Estado.

I think it is a claim with enough relevance. It is on wikipedia and has as its source the following book:

Ortiz de Rozas, Carlos (21 de junio de 2006). «Historia Oficial británica sobre las islas Malvinas: análisis crítico». Anales de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias Morales Y Políticas: 36. ISSN 0325-4763.

But I find this assertion hard to believe, since the islands had a strong British military presence since 1982 and that entails a strong logistical effort (and a lot of fuel) that must have necessarily benefited the locals.

  • 1
    When did YPF and Gas del Estado supposedly arrive?
    – MichaelK
    Nov 23 '18 at 10:36
  • @MichaelK As far as I know, Argentine oil companies were founded in the 1920s and their activity outside Argentine borders was limited by their collaboration agreements with the British-Dutch corporation Shell and the American Esso. YPF did not expand internationally until its privatization and partial acquisition by the Spanish company Repsol in 1999.
    – Ginasius
    Nov 23 '18 at 10:55
  • That does not answer the query we need answered to be able to deal with your question: when did YPF and Gas del Estado supposedly arrive on the Falklands to start delivering oil to the citizens?
    – MichaelK
    Nov 23 '18 at 12:46
  • @MichaelK I can't give a definitive answer to your question, and if I could, I could very possibly answer my own question by myself. ;) There are strong hints that YPF never had a presence outside Argentina's borders before 1999. I need to know if non-Argentine oil companies, such as Shell, or the British government, were supplying fuel to the Falklanders before that date.
    – Ginasius
    Nov 23 '18 at 13:13
  • 1
    The Falklands were originally a small coaling station for the UK Navy when it was coal rather than oil powered and needed refuelling stations at strategic points across the globe. That means there would have been a lot of coal stored there. Doesn't sound like Peat would be the only available fuel in that situation.
    – matt_black
    Nov 25 '18 at 10:18

I can't find anything on the strong claim that Falkland Islanders only had peat as fuel.

So this isn't a complete answer.

However official government publications do support the idea that peat was a major fuel source on the islands until around 1982 and before that from 1974 by treaty the Argentinian state oil company had a legal monopoly on importing oil to the Falklands and prior to that commerce was partly restricted.


peat is very common on the Islands and provided warmth for almost every household for the first hundred or so years of British rule. Although effectively free, cutting peat was a laborious task and once it was dried it was not a particularly efficient fuel. In Stanley a public holiday was designated for the work. Since the 1982 Conflict peat has largely been replaced by fuel oil.

a timeline notes:

1974: A sovereignty umbrella is established to allow commercial transactions to be carried out between the Falkland Islands and Argentina. Agreement signed for supply of fuel by Argentine state oil company, YPF


In 1974 a ‘sovereignty umbrella’ was introduced to cover all possible commercial transactions and it was under this that the supply of fuel to the Islands was given as a monopoly to the Argentine state oil company YPF.


Stanley before the Argentine invasion was a town in decline. Access to the Falklands was effectively controlled by LADE, the commercial arm of the Argentine air force, which provided the only regular link to the outside world. The Argentine state oil company, YPF, provided all the Islands’ fuel. It seemed that the Falklands were sliding into the arms of Argentina. Emigration, to the UK or New Zealand, increased and the birth rate fell. The population of the Islands declined to 1,800. It took the events of 1982 to reverse the trend.


  • 1
    The strong claim probably can't be proven, so your answer is as complete as it can be. You have found evidence that Falklanders had a regular supply of fuel from Argentine corporations since 1974. The lack of evidence of an earlier supply seems to indicate that the supply of fuel or coal to the islands was scarce. Thank you for your reply. I will be happy to accept it in a couple of days.
    – Ginasius
    Nov 23 '18 at 21:25

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