From World Bulletin
Authorities in Ghana and Ivory Coast are seeking a peaceful solution to a lingering boundary dispute set off by the discovery of vast oil reserves in a maritime area between the two West African countries.
“For now, I can’t say who legally owns the disputed field. We are working on several proposals, which are being kept secret until the whole issue is finally resolved,” Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Land and Natural Resources Barbara Serwaa Asamoah told Anadolu Agency during a recent visit to Ivory Coast.
Both countries claim ownership of the territory, initially thought to belong to Ghana, which had exclusive possession of the area.
When Ghana found oil in 2007 and began production in 2010 at the Jubilee Field – located in the Atlantic Ocean 60km off Ghana shore – Ivory Coast petitioned the U.N. to complete the demarcation of its maritime boundary with Ghana.
International experts had suggested then that Ivorian authorities believed the Ghanaian field could extend into Ivory Coast’s territory.
However, tensions escalated in April 2013, when Ivory Coast announced it had struck oil in an area adjacent to Jubilee Field – Ghana’s largest oil field – and sent a correspondence to the government of Ghana casting doubt on the existing median line that divides both countries’ waters.
“We wanted to be sure and know exactly where we stand and what we were doing,” Ivory Coast Mines and Energy Minister Adama Toungara told AA.
“That was why we informed the U.N., to be in line with international conventions,” he said.
Ghana and Ivory Coast share a 640km terrestrial border.
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