Ghana: Do Ghana's oil fields belong to Ivory Coast?

We learn from Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne about a dispute that could break out between Ghana and neighboring Ivory Coast, if immediate steps are not taken to enter into appropriate negotiations to redefine the international boundary between the two nations.

Ghana's Western neighbor Ivory Coast is reportedly laying claims to portions of the huge oil wealth in the deep waters of the Western Region of Ghana.

In a move to save the situation, Ghana has begun an urgent move to pass a new law that seeks to establish the Ghana Boundary Commission to undertake negotiations to determine and demarcate Ghana’s land boundaries and de-limit Ghana’s maritime boundaries.

Ghana’s Parliament has therefore been tasked to race against time to pass the Ghana Boundary Commission Bill under a certificate of urgency.

The morning of the news; I twittered about it here;

West Africa: Ivory Coast lays claim to Ghana's oil

The news of Ivory Coast’s claim to parts of Ghana’s oil fields comes just days after United States operator Vanco Energy struck oil in the deep-water Dzata-1 well, off Ghana’s Cape Three Points near Ivory Coast, further boosting the oil wealth in Ghana’s booming offshore Tano basin.

A few days after this news; another news item was on air from Vanco Energy dismissing the threat of Ghana’s Oil Find. A twitter update from Peacefmonline reads;

Vanco Ghana Dismisses Threat to Ghana’s Find ….

Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne once again reported on this new update from the Oil Firm.

He writes;

Petroleum exploration firm, Vanco Ghana Limited, has dismissed suggestions that its oil field in the Western Region is at the centre of a possible boundary dispute between Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The company said its oilfield, known as Gyata 1, is so far away from the maritime boundary between the two countries that it cannot be the subject of any dispute.

He also quoted the Country Manager of Vanco Energy; Mr. Kofi Afenu as saying;

The Ivorian authorities are only seeking negotiations with Ghana over the Jubilee oilfield, which is owned by Kosmos Energy.

posts an article from the Chronicle quoting Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, saying that Ghana's boundary with Ivory Coast had not been clearly demarcated.

Gayle writes about the topic remembering gas fields dispute between Australia and East Timor:

In Sunday’s post Making Sense of Oil Discoveries in Ghana: Part 1, I explained the oil exploration industry basics. And in my very first post on the subject, Making Sense of Ghana's Oil Discoveries: Introduction, I referred to the potentially problematic border issue:

“It gets quite complicated when the field also happens to sit in disputed areas like major gas fields between Australia and East Timor.

She hopes that the dispute will be resolved faster that Australia and East Timor:

Hopefully this can be resolved faster than Australia and East Timor could resolve their differences. It should be simpler as the issues in this case are less complex (not relating to agreements with a former invading nation, for starters), but rather between amicable neighbours. But they certainly need experienced, honest and independent experts to advise. If not, I won’t be the only person in Ghana throwing my hands in the air and cursing about lost opportunities.

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