ACCRA – Ghana has welcomed the order adopted by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to suspend drilling of new oil wells in the disputed West Cape Three Points area.
According to a statement by government, the ruling “carefully balances” and protects the rights of both Ghana and Ivory Coast.
“Ghana will be able to continue to engage in offshore exploration and exploitation if it wishes grant new concessions. More significantly, Ghana will be able to continue to exploit all wells that have been drilled”, the statement said.
The statement said further that exploitation of the TEN field, which is about 60 percent complete, would be able to proceed in accordance with the schedule in the disputed area.
“This should also provide ample reassurance to all Ghana’s investors that their rights and interests have been fully protected,” the statement said.
The ITLOS in Hamburg has rejected Ivory Coast’s request that Ghana be ordered to suspend all oil exploration and exploitation in the disputed zone including the TEN Project.
ITLOS has also ordered a number of provisional measures which both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are required to comply with; including continued cooperation until ITLOS gives its decision on the maritime boundary dispute which is expected in late 2017.
However, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tsatsu Tsikata, said Saturday’s ruling in the maritime dispute with Ghana had put Ivory Coast in a “more difficult” position.
He said although the substantive case was yet to be heard, the ruling, which refused Ivory Coast the provisional measures it sought from ITLOS, had further strengthened Ghana’s position. – CAJ News