Maritime dispute could hamper Tullow’s TEN project (Ghana)

Tullow Oil, an independent oil company with oil fields offshore W. Africa, has been informed by the Government of Ghana that Côte d’Ivoire has applied for provisional measures to be ordered in Ghana’s maritime boundary dispute with Côte d’Ivoire which is in arbitration before a Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg.

Côte d’Ivoire has requested from the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea to order Ghana to suspend ongoing exploration and exploitation operations in the disputed area in which Tullow’s Tweneboa, Enyenra, and Ntomme (TEN) development project is situated until ITLOS gives its full verdict which is expected towards the end of 2017.

According to Tullow, a decision on this application for provisional measures should be handed down before the end of April 2015.

This arbitration was initiated by Ghana in 2014 in an effort to resolve a dispute with regard to the maritime boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Strong case for Ghana

Tullow says that it has been informed by external counsel is that Ghana has a strong case under international law that the current boundary location, which follows an equidistance line, will be upheld by ITLOS in accordance with the Law of the Sea Convention to which both states are party.

Tullow has said that work on the TEN project continues and remains on schedule and on budget for first oil in mid-2016, Tullow has said.

Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive Officer of Tullow Oil, commented today: “Tullow has long had interests in and strong relationships with both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and we have conducted our operations in both countries in line with our obligations as a contractor under our Petroleum Agreements and in accordance with international operating standards.

“Although the arbitration process allows for an application of provisional measures, it is our view that it is in the best interest of all parties that the TEN project continues to move ahead without delay and unencumbered by legal tactics of this nature.”

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