Oil giant Tullow is to resume operations at the TEN oil fields by December, 2017, after putting it on hold for two years due to the maritime border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Ghana dragged Ivory Coast to the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea(ITLOS) in September, 2014 after negotiations with Ivory Coast over the disputed boundary broke down.
ITLOS in its first ruling in 2015 placed a moratorium on new projects, the directive meant Tullow had to put on hold operations including drilling in the disputed area.
ITLOS however today September, 23, 2017 ruled in favor of Ghana.
The special chamber ruled that there had not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Ivory Coast’s maritime boundary.
ITLOS also following the ruling determined a new boundary for the two countries.
Tullow in a statement copied to Citi Business News said the TEN fields were not affected by the new maritime boundary determined by the tribunal.
Tullow added that it “will now work with the Government of Ghana to put in place the necessary permits to allow the restart of development drilling in the TEN fields.
Tullow expects to resume drilling around the end of year.
Tullow’s TEN field currently produces about 40,000 barrel of oil per day.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Tullow Ghana, Charles Darku, commenting on the impact of the ruling said the company will expedite work on all additional wells for the TEN oilfields hopefully by the end of 2017.
“We are now going to proceed with a new set of timelines that we have developed to drill the balance of the wells. When the moratorium was placed, we did get TEN first oil and we proceeded with production. Now with the ruling out of the way, we want to resume as quickly as possible, hopefully by the end of the year,” he explained.
Mr. Darku has ruled out any distortion to the 2017 end of year production target for the TEN fields.
“Production forecast for this year will remain at 50,000 barrels of oil per day. In respect of next year’s production, we are actually now working on our numbers and we will release the figure at the appropriate time.”
Meanwhile, the CEO of Tullow Paul McDade, has assured that the company will continue its production in Ghana as well as work of the government of Ivory Coast.
“Tullow looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Governments of both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire following the conclusion of this process. While the TEN fields have performed well during the period of the drilling moratorium, we can now restart work on the additional drilling planned as part of the TEN fields’ plan of development and take the fields towards their full potential,” he said.