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Tullow To Resume Drilling Along Disputed Ghana, Ivory Coast Border

The announcement came just few hours after an international maritime tribunal backed cleared Ghana of allegations that it was drilling for oil within Ivory Coast boundary cutting through lucrative offshore oil fields.
23 Sep 2017 17:42
Map showing boarder lines as determined by the Hamburg-based tribunal on Saturday
Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) says it will resume development of drilling operations along the disputed boundary between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.

Tullow Oil plc Chief Executive Officer, Paul McDade on Saturday announced that

Tullow looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Governments of both Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire to resume its operations.

The announcement came just few hours after an international maritime tribunal backed cleared Ghana of allegations that it was drilling for oil within Ivory Coast boundary cutting through lucrative offshore oil fields.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea found that "Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights" of Ivory Coast by drilling for oil in the region.

The Hamburg-based court mapped the maritime border and backed Ghana on the principle that the boundary line be based on equidistance.

The contested area is believed to hold the biggest hydrocarbon resources discovered in West Africa over the past decade.

Paul McDade in a statement said while the TEN fields in the previously disputed area have performed well during the period of the drilling moratorium, their operations in Ghana we can now restart work on the additional drilling planned as part of the TEN fields' plan. 

Tullow according to McDade expects to resume drilling around the end of the year. The operation of drilling will allow production from the TEN fields with an estimated capacity of 80,000 barrels per day.  

The two West African countries have been engaged in a decade-old row believed to have slowed the development of Ghana's $6 billion offshore TEN field which is one of the projects in the contested area of the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Special Chamber unanimously finds that Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d'Ivoire,” said a statement from the Hamburg-based tribunal.

Tullow Plcs is the parent company to Tullow Uganda that has operations in the Albertine Graben on Lake Albert. Similar disputes are looming between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo with planned drilling of oil in the waters of Albert and Lake Edward.

The tensions have been on since September 2008 when Canadian oil company Heritage Oil announced the discovery of crude oil reserves around Lake Albert. Heritage said the reserves in the lake had daily production potential estimated at more than 14000 barrels.

Uganda and DRC plan to drill for oil in the two water bodies with potential conflict which could end up at the international maritime tribunal.