The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled that, Ghana can go ahead to explore oil despite the dispute between it and neighbours Ivory Coast.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), in unanimously dismissing Cote d’Ivoire’s call for the suspension of activities on the disputed maritime boundary until the final determination of their disagreement over the boundary – held that work can go on uninterrupted.
The tribunal, however, ordered Ghana not to start new drilling activity on the disputed area until the matter is resolved.
"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, judges ruled, Saturday.
In effect, exploration and exploitation works on the Tweneboah-Enyera-Ntoumme (TEN) project, being operated by Tullow Oil Plc and its partners, can proceed unabated.
“In the view of the Special Chamber, 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 concessioners 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.