Ghana, Ivory Coast dispute over oil field likely to aggravate

The dispute between Ghana and its neighbor, the Ivory Coast, is likely to aggravate following the announcement by France’s Total that it has struck oil on a block off Ivory Coast adjacent to Ghana’s giant Jubilee Field.

The field holds around 2 billion barrels of oil reserves and another 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The oil was discovered in the western part of C100 which extends to the Tano basin, and it’s home to several fields including Ghana’s Jubilee.

This latest development could have some implications if Ivory Coast decides to develop this field.

Mohammed Amin Adams, an Energy Economist with the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, told Joy News: “There would be difficulty in the efficient exploitation of the reserves in the Jubilee Fields. Ghana may not efficiently be able to exploit the resource, Ivory Coast may not efficiently exploit the resource, unless they come into some form of cooperation.”

He therefore advised, “It is important for Ghana to act strategically, strategically in the sense that Ghana should increase its relationships with Ivory Coast, Ghana should strengthen its cooperation with Ivory Coast. And the outstanding boundary issues need to be resolved.”

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, pumps around 32,000 barrels per day, but for decades made little effort to develop its off-shore potential.

Readers would recall that Ivory Coast, which shares maritime border with Ghana, is boundary disputes making claims to parts of the sea where Ghana has recently discovered oil.

Both countries set up a Commission in 2010 to work out the details of how the maritime border will be demarcated.

In 2011 the Government of Ghana assured that the country’s oil is not under threat so Ghanaians must not entertain fears the country could lose its newly found multibillion dollar jubilee oil field to Cote d’Ivoire.