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Correction: Tribunal asks Ghana not to start new oil exploration in disputed areas – Report

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Oil2Ghana has been asked not to start new oil exploration in the sea areas involved in a dispute with Ivory Coast, the Reuters news service has reported.

According to the report, an international maritime tribunal on Saturday ruled that Ghana can continue production in a multi-billion dollar offshore oil development in an area caught up in a border dispute with Ivory Coast, but must not start new exploration.

“The decision means that Ghana can continue production from existing oil fields in the disputed area but not start new exploration,” Reuters quoted Judge Boualem Bouguetaia, president of the Special Chamber as saying.

Ivory Coast had made a request to the authority handling the case, the Hamburg-based International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), that Ghana suspend oil exploration and exploitation operations in the disputed area while legal hearings into the dispute go ahead.

Early November 2011, the Ivorian government mapped out a new maritime border it is sharing with Ghana covering some of the jubilee oilfields.

That action was seen as a public challenge of 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 hold about a billion-barrel discoveries.

It is believed that this decision, which might cause delays in the development of the TEN fields could cost Ghana billions of dollars.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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