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.
The request is for Ghana to suspend ongoing operations
The provisional measures application includes a request that ITLOS orders Ghana to suspend ongoing exploration and exploitation operations in the disputed area in which Tullow’s TEN project is located until a decision is taken by ITLOS. Tullow said the arbitration decision is expected towards the end of 2017. The decision on the application for provisional measures should be handed down before the end of April.
This arbitration was commenced by Ghana in 2014 in an effort to resolve a dispute with regard to the maritime boundary between the two countries. Tullow’s advice from external counsel is that Ghana has a strong case under international law as 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.
Work will continue
Work on the TEN project continues and remains on schedule and on budget for first oil in mid-2016, Tullow has said.
Aidan Heavey, CEO of Tullow Oil, commented: “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.”