ITLOS stops Ghana from drilling new oil wells

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tribunal-590x400The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled that Ghana cannot drill new oil wells in the disputed West Cape Three Points area.

However, the Tribunal said Ghana could proceed with $4.9 billion offshore oil exploration project in the disputed area.

“Ghana shall take all necessary steps to ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control takes place in the disputed area,” the Tribunal said on Saturday.

Cote d’Ivoire is laying claim to Ghana’s territorial waters at West Cape Three points currently being operated by oil giants Tullow under the Tweneboah-Enyera-Ntoumme (TEN) project.

The Francophone country subsequently filed an injunction appeal at the Hamburg-based Tribunal to force Ghana to suspend all ongoing oil exploration and exploitation operations in the disputed area and refrain from granting any new permit for oil exploration and exploitation in the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case.

“The suspension of ongoing activities conducted by Ghana in respect of which drilling has already taken place would entail the risk of considerable financial loss to Ghana and its concessionaires and could also pose a serious danger to the marine environment resulting, in particular, from the deterioration of equipment.

“It therefore considers that an order suspending all exploration or exploitation activities conducted by or on behalf of Ghana in the disputed area, including activities in respect of which drilling has already taken place, would cause prejudice to the rights claimed by Ghana and create an undue burden on it and that such an order could also cause harm to the marine environment,” it said.

The Tribunal directed all parties to take the necessary steps and cooperate to prevent harm to the marine environment in the disputed area.

Tullow Statement

Tullow spokesman George Cazenove said the TEN Project would continue following the ruling.

“We will now await instructions from the Government of Ghana with regard to implementing those provisional measures that have been ordered by ITLOS,” he said.


By Cephas Larbi

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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