Tullow to drill new wells by end of year
Tullow Ghana has told Citi Business News it will by the end of this year  commence the drilling of additional wells in the West Cape Three Points as part of operations of the TEN oilfields.
It follows the judgement by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) that Ghana has not violated any part of Cote d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
The Special Chamber of ITLOS, led by its President, Justice Boualem Bouguetaia, ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
The moratorium by the Special Chamber in 2015 suspended the drilling of thirteen additional wells by Tullow.
This notwithstanding, Tullow explains that the move has least affected oil production at the TEN fields.
According to the Managing Director for Tullow Ghana, Charles Darku, the final decision by ITLOS clears the way for the commencement of the planned drilling.
In his view, this should commence at least by the end of the year.
“We are now going to proceed with a new set of timelines that we have developed to drill the balance of the TEN wells. When the moratorium was placed, we obviously didn’t drill. We did get TEN to first oil and we proceeded with production. Now with the ruling out of the way, we want to proceed as quickly as possible hopefully by the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, the Chamber rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable.
It also noted that Ghana has not violated Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration in the disputed basin.
In addition, the Special Chamber accepted Ghana’s argument of adoption of the equidistance method of delineation of the maritime boundary.
In consideration of the new boundary, the Chamber determined that it starts from boundary 55 to 200 nautical miles away, a position much closer to what Ghana was arguing for.
Mr. Charles Darku could not readily disclose how much the additional wells will add unto the oil production from the TEN fields going forward.
But he maintained that any determination would be a positive one as the projected end of year target is not affected.
“Our production forecast for this year will remain the 50,000 barrels per day that we set at the beginning of the year. So in terms of how much we plan to produce that is the forecast. In respect of next year production, we are actually working on our numbers and we will issue a statement at the appropriate time,” he stated.
For the Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security, Naval Captain Dr. Kamal- Deen Ali, the decision will also have an impact on the ongoing drilling in the Voltaian basin which could likely be challenged by Togo.