Maritime dispute win to boost Ghana’s economy

Analysts in the oil and gas sector are anticipating a judgement in favour of Ghana at the landmark case involving Ghana and Ivory Coast at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

The Special Chamber of ITLOS is expected to deliver its ruling on the three-year dispute between the two countries.
Ghana, which took the case to ITLOS, is dismissing claims it has encroached Ivory Coast’s marine borders as part of oil exploration activities.

Commenting on the possible implications of a favourable judgement for Ghana, the Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye stressed, that will be impactful on revenue mobilization from the oil sector.

“Ghana stands to benefit significantly because we have discovered fields that can quickly go into production to improve on Ghana’s production levels and that will add unto Ghana’s oil revenue and add unto the budget. There are other fields that can go into,” he stated.

The ACEP head added, “We have about nine companies that are currently not in operations because of the case so once the judgement goes in our favour then they can go to site to commence operations.”
In an earlier comment on the issue, President Akufo-Addo maintained that his government will not make any pronouncement on the matter.

Though he admitted to huge impact for Ghana’s economy in the event of a favourable judgement, Nana Addo asserted that any decision will not be until the final judgement is given.

“The ruling is on Saturday and we are waiting to see what decision will be made and we will see how best we will enforce the decision of the court. This will definitely have economic consequences on Ghana…a lot of work is going on in that way but I will prefer to wait and see what will happen on Saturday before I tell the world what I would do to respond,” the President remarked.

Meanwhile, Mr. Boakye has cautioned that any ruling against Ghana will be costly to the economy.
In his view, the investments needed to prospect for oil in new wells and allied exploration activities would be much dependent on available cash and anticipated benefits.

“The implication will be that we cannot continue to operate in those fields and I think that will be up to the managers of the economy to fashion out a new approach in raising revenue and also ensure that other fields that are not very active we can activate them to improve upon the oil production fortunes. But those will be hard decisions to be taken.”

Ghana, in 2014 went to ITLOS for an intermediation over accusations of encroaching its neighbour’s (Ivory Coast’s) maritime boundaries.

The oral hearings for the dispute were concluded in February 2017.