The Executive Director of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr. Ben Boakye said the ITLOS’ decision provides comfort for investment attraction into Ghana’s oil and gas sector particularly the Tano Basin which has lower exploration risk after discoveries by Tullow and Hess in Ghana, and Total in Côte d’Ivoire.
In a statement signed by Mr. Boakye indicated that clarity on boundary delimitation between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire provides certainty and could improve investment attraction.
He indicated that given the discoveries that have been made on both sides of the boarder, there is the possibility of future discoveries that could straddle both countries which may require joint field development and operation.
Mr. Boakye intimated that the boundary dispute between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire serves as a wake-up call for all African countries to properly define, document and sign all boundary agreements most of which were inherited from the colonial era to prevent future disputes,” he stated.
The Executive Director of ACEP added that the outcome of the decision provides Ghana and Tullow the opportunity to increase production and revenues while Hess can proceed to develop the Deep Water Tano Cape Three Points fields.
Ben Boakye emphasized that the boundary dispute had negative implications on upstream activities in both countries adding that in Ghana, for instance, Statoil preferred a portion, instead of the whole, of the South Deep Water Tano which extended to the disputed area.
He noted that Ghana, unwilling to grant this request in an attempt to defend its sovereignty lost investments from this major global oil industry player indicating that Tullow and Hess also halted drilling activities.
According to him, the joint agreement by both parties to be bound by the decision of the ITLOS, which is highly commendable, is a step in the right direction towards peaceful co-existence between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire which is necessary for possible future partnerships in the upstream oil and gas sector.
Ben Boakye commended Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire for committing to a peaceful process of addressing the boundary dispute between the two countries.
Source: Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor