Hamburg, Germany – Ghana has been ordered by an international tribunal with its seat in Hamburg to suspend plans for any new offshore drilling for oil in disputed waters claimed by the Ivory Coast.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which is mandated by UN conventions, ruled that Ghana could continue developing current oilfields.
These oil fields include the so called-Ten fields, part owned by UK firm Tullow Oil, which are a source of considerable foreign currency to Ghana.
The government of the Ivory Coast had asked that all drilling be suspended by Ghana, but the tribunal found that such a measure would inflict “considerable financial loss” on Ghana.
Instead, it told the West African nation to “take all necessary steps to ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control takes place in the disputed area”.
While new drilling has been suspended, the tribunal also ruled that the government of Ghana should “refrain from granting any new permit for oil exploration and exploitation in the disputed area”.
The area is believed to contain large reserves of oil, which both countries are keen to exploit as a lucrative source of revenue.
The tribunal told both countries to “pursue co-operation and refrain from any unilateral action that might lead to aggravating the dispute”, pending a ruling on the exact position of the maritime border between the two countries.
Tullow Oil, which owns a large stake in the near US $5-billion Ten project, welcomed the ruling as it had for some time been operating without a precise legal consensus on the outlook for the oil field, which could reportedly produce up to 80,000 barrels a day.
“Following this ruling, the Ten project can move ahead and we will now await instructions from the government of Ghana with regard to implementing those provisional measures that have been ordered by [the tribunal],” a Tullow spokesman said
source: Brazil News
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