The Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, has reaffirmed that Ghana has a strong case to settle its boundary dispute with neighbouring La Cote d’Iviore to pave the way for a peaceful business environment.
Ghana and La Cote d’Iviore failed to reach agreement over their maritime boundary after neighbouring Cote d’Iviore had sought to claim part of the offshore Jubilee Field, resulting in the case being referred to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea for determination in accordance with UN practice.
The ruling on the case is expected to be given by the Hamburg-based court on April 25.
“We have a strong case, we believe we will resolve our difference peacefully for us to focus our attention on the important business of oil and gas,” Mr Buah remarked yesterday at the opening of the 6th Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition.
It is under the theme, “Optimising local content and building partnership in the energy sector” and it is being attended by key industrial players in the oil and gas sector to share ideas, and showcase opportunities in the oil and gas industry, to stimulate further investment in the sector.
Mr Buah reassured that the dispute would not disrupt the exploration work on the new discoveries of Tweneboah-Enyera Ntoume (TEN), being undertaken by Tullow.
The minister said the government was pursuing interventions including promulgation of relevant legislative framework to make Ghana an exciting destination for investment in the oil and gas sector.
He said the country has laid a critical infrastructure in the oil and gas sector explaining that the Ghana Gas Company is producing gas to power the Volta River Authority plants at Aboadze that “will cure” the current power supply challenges, and make the country’s energy sector stable.
Mr. Buah touched on the local content policy stressing that it is not meant to discourage foreigners from the industry, but to ensure that Ghanaians get a fair share of participation in the industry through employment generation, and transfer of technology that would leverage economic growth.
He said research has shown that countries that directly get involved in the sector, through local content participation, reap maximum benefits and stressed on linkages and strong partnership between stakeholders in the industry.
Available information indicates that contracts worth 750 million dollars have gone to Ghanaian companies following the introduction of the local content policy.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman