Neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire says it wants a two-sided approach towards the demarcation of the maritime boundary that is currently contested by the two countries .In has thus expressed the hope that the ongoing negotiations between the two countries over who owns portions of the sea closer the western Region of Ghana will come to a peaceful closure.
The Director General (DG)of Petroci- the national oil company in cote d’Ivoire ,Mr. Daniel Gnangni said in an interaction with some Ghanaian journalists in the capital ,Abidjan ,that his outfit was happy both countries had committed to peaceful negotiations in a bid to find a solution to the issue.
Mr.Gnangni also hinted of Cote d’Ivoire ‘s readiness to join hands with Ghana to develop and produce the disputed blocks of oil and gas reserves ‘’on the unlikely event that we do not find a solution to the issue.
‘’If by any extraordinary doing we are unable to find a solution to this issue which to me is impossible ,we can decide on a border zone ,join efforts, intelligence and competence and do a common exploitation so that whatever benefits that we get will be for our communal gains’’, he said through a translator.
Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have been laying ownership claims to the billions of barrels of oil and cubic feet of gas reserves reportedly found in the deep waters near Western Region of Ghana.
That maritime boundary issue between the two countries has been there for some time now but was reignited around 2010,the time Ghana commenced commercial production of oil in its jubilee field.The disputed area covers portions of jubilee(currently produced by Ghana),Tweneboa,Enyenra ,the Owo discoveries ,West Tano-IX find and the Deep water Tano Block.
Already ,the regulator of Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector –the Ghana National Petroleum Company(GNPC) –has allocated some of those blocks to oil companies to explore and develop for commercial oil production.
Cote d’Ivoire ,however, thinks Ghana took undue advantage of its internal political crisis at the time to allocate the blocks but that was not necessary because Ghana is the rightful owner of the area.
With political stability now returning , Cote d’Ivoire is confident an amicable solution, through dialogue, will be reached on the matter to the benefit of both parties.
‘’Maritime boundaries will have to be drawn through mutual consent between the two countries’’ ,the DG of Petroci said. His interaction with the journalist formed part of an on-going oil and gas programme for selected media practitioners in Ghana and Uganda.
The programme organised by Revenue watch institute and supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation Penplusbytes in Ghana and the Ugandan –based African Center for Media Excellence (ACME).it is aimed at improving media reportage on the extractive sector in the two countries .