Madam Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology has expressed satisfaction with the environmental arrangement put in place at the Tullow’s Oil Spill Response Preparedness at the Jubilee Oil Field off Cape Three Points in the Western Region.
She, however, stressed the need for the operators to hasten work to be able to adequately meet challenges of dealing with an oil spill and other emergencies.
The Minister was briefing the media at the Takoradi Airport after a tour of the Oil Spill Response Preparedness site at the Jubilee Field. She was conducted round the facilities by Environment, Health and Safety officials of Tullow.
The tour was part of the continuous update provided by Tullow Ghana Limited to regulators of the industry and the government with the aim of demonstration compliance commitment to the highest safety and environmental standards.
Madam Ayittey urged Tullow and the Jubilee Partners not to rest on their laurels, but strive to uphold the high standards that have ensured the safety of the world class project so far.
“It is in doing so that the country’s oil, marine and coastal resources can be protected at all times”.
She pointed out that Ghana must not wait for any disaster to occur before taking any stringent measures therefore the time to act is now.
She noted that in oil response, the lives and properties of the immediate people was very important as they would need urgent evacuation.
Answering questions from the media, the Environment Minister was optimistic that parliament would pass the Marine Pollution Bill by the end of October, since it has reached an advanced stage in the House.
She said when passed, it would give impetus to all stakeholders to come on board with their expertise for a comprehensive environmental plan that can take care of spillage and other emergencies.
Madam Ayittey said when it becomes effective; the Jubilee frontline District Assemblies would have full responsibility to demarcate appropriate management sites where people could be evacuated to in the event of oil spillage or any emergency.
She said at the moment about 78 sites had been identified for such purpose.
The Environment Minister hinted that the Environmental Protection Agency would collaborate with a Norwegian Company to survey the coast of the Jubilee Field to assess the current flow for selected sensitive sites for rescue operations.
Management of Tullow Ghana Limited assured of their consciousness of the need to maintain high safety standards in their operations and assured stakeholders of their preparedness to deal with emergency situations.