Ghana says Ivory Coast claims of oil fields have no merit

Ghana says claims of ownership of some of its oil fields by neighbouring Ivory Coast do not have merit, reports the Daily Graphic January 10, 2012 citing Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye – Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Ghana, which discovered oil in 2007 and became an oil producer December 15, 2010, is confident that the issue will not affect its oil production in anyway.

The GNPC boss who was speaking at the opening of the 63rd Annual New Year School and Conference themed “One year of oil and gas production: Emerging issues” said the boundaries between Ghana and Ivory Coast had been very clear and undisputed and any new claims to the contrary would have to be proven with facts, the publication reported.

The government of Ivory Coast led by President Allasane Ouattara early November 2011 mapped out a new maritime border it is sharing with Ghana covering some of the jubilee oilfields.

The country therefore publicly challenged Ghana over title to the offshore acreage hosting some of the region’s most prolific oil and gas fields. It is believed that the disputed border holds about one billion barrels of oil.

Officials at Ivory Coast’s state oil company, Petroci, early November 2011 unveiled a controversial map redrawing the maritime border between the two nations, which has been in long-running talks over the disputed area, according to Upstream news publication.

“This scenario effectively sees the Ivory Coast as laying claim to much of Tullow Oil’s Jubilee, Tweneboa, Enyenra and Owo discoveries, among others, plus the West Tano-1X find and several prospects,” the publication cited an unnamed source as saying.

Jubilee partner Kosmos Energy has expressed fears about the development saying the future of a portion of its license in the Deepwater Tano Block is uncertain as the issue remains unresolved.

Kosmos fears that if changes are made to the maritime boundary demarcation between Ghana and Ivory Coast, it may lose some of its license. It has 18% stake in the Deepwater Tano block in the Gulf of Guinea.

Ghana’s President Professor John Evans Atta Mills late December 2011 met with the Board Chairman of Kosmos Energy in New York over the company’s operations in Ghana.

The oil explorer, according to President Mills during an interaction with journalists January 9, 2012 in Accra, raised some concerns about its works in the country. But the Prof. Mills declined to give details of the meeting with Kosmos Energy.

By Ekow Quandzie

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