Tullow admits maritime dispute between Ghana, Ivory Coast will affect operations

Tullow Oil has finally admitted that the current maritime dispute will affect operations badly.

The International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea last month ruled on an injunction motion filed by Cote d’Ivoire that Ghana can go ahead to work on existing wells but cannot drill new wells.

This was after Ghana took the case to the court for an arbitration on disputed areas around the country’s second biggest oil field area that is the Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme .

It was estimated that Ghana could have lost close to 4 billion dollars if the Tribunal had gone ahead to grant the injunction request by Ivory Coast for all exploration activities to be halted in the area until after a substantive ruling is given.

The Court is however expected to give its final ruling on the dispute by 2017.

The oil exploration firm, initially had admitted that, the dispute before the tribunal will not affect it that much but speaking to JOYBUSINESS after engaging the press, shareholders and Investors on its performance, Group Chief Executive of TULLOW, Aidan Heavey , says the development could affect investments into TULLOW going forward.

“When the initial application went in for Cote d’Ivoire in relation to the border dispute, it does have an impact on international investment. It is just a way to talk about political risk.

“…If you look at the way that the oil industry and money has moved to the US it is because they don’t view political risk. So it just highlights political risk and it’s not a good thing for Cote d’Ivoire; it’s not a good thing for Ghana; it’s not a good thing for Africa in general that you have these sorts of disputes made public,” he stated.

He would rather have these disputes settled in private.

In a related development the company has justified the decision to lay off some of its Ghanaian workers.

The oil exploration firm earlier this year asked about 60 Ghanaian workers to go home as a result of almost 2 billio n dollar loss because of declining oil prices on the international market.

But the decision didn’t go down well with government and other players in the industry who argued that looking at Ghana’s contribution to the Group, workers in the country should have been excused from this global restructuring.

But speaking to JOY BUSINESS after engaging shareholders in Accra, Mr. Heavey said they had to do this to save the business from collapsing.

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