Ghana and Ivory Coast establish joint Committee to implement maritime border ruling
Ghana and Ivory Coast have committed to ensure that the recent ruling by an international court on the maritime dispute between the two nations be smoothly implemented.
To help achieve the implementation of the court ruling, the two countries have established a joint committee Joint Committee for the Implementation of the ITLOS judgement and indicated that the composition of the Committee would be decided later.
Furthermore, the two countries have, inter alia, signed Memorandum of Understanding for Geological and Mineral Cooperation.
To remind, the international tribunal in Hamburg in September made a final ruling resolving a maritime dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Ivory Coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg determined a maritime boundary and found that Ghana had not violated the sovereign rights of Ivory Coast by conducting oil and gas activities in the disputed area, as previously alleged by Ivory Coast.
Namely, the tribunal found that Ghana had suspended its activities by implementing its obligations in accordance with the Order of the Special Chamber of April 25, 2015 namely to ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control would take place in the disputed area.
To remind, the issue had threatened to hamper the development on oil company Tullow’s TEN field which is located in the disputed area.
Responding to the ITLOS ruling last month, Tullow oil said that the new maritime boundary as determined by the tribunal “does not affect the TEN fields.”
Tullow said it would work with the Government of Ghana to put in place the necessary permits to allow the restart of development drilling in the TEN fields.
Tullow expects to resume drilling around the end of the year which will allow production from the TEN fields to start to increase towards the FPSO design capacity of 80,000 bopd.
Tullow CEO, Paul McDade, said in September: “Tullow looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Governments of both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire following the conclusion of this process. While the TEN fields have performed well during the period of the drilling moratorium, we can now restart work on the additional drilling planned as part of the TEN fields’ plan of development and take the fields towards their full potential.”
While this African arbitration including offshore oil and gas fields has been resolved, another one, in the Gambia, has just started.
Oslo-listed independent oil and gas company African Petroleum (AP) has started arbitration proceedings “to protect its interests” related to its licenses offshore The Gambia.
According to its statement on Wednesday, the company’s subsidiaries, African Petroleum Gambia Limited and APCL Gambia B.V have lodged Requests for Arbitration (RFA) documents with the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in order to protect its interests in the A1 and A4 licenses in The Gambia, and that these RFAs have been registered and allocated case numbers by ICSID.
AP started preparing for the launch of the arbitration process against the government of The Gambia in early September following the government’s failure to provide any feedback, formal or otherwise, regarding the company’s status over the two offshore licenses.