Daniel Gnangni, Director General of Petroci, the Ivoirian national oil company, says he is optimistic the border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast would be resolved within the shortest possible time.
The border dispute between the West African neighbours heightened when an exploration firm Vanco discovered oil in the Dzata-1 deepwater-well for Ghana.
The Ivoirians noted that the oil discovery was within their territorial waters and subsequently petitioned the United Nations in 2010 to complete the demarcation of the maritime boundary between the two countries to forestall any dispute.
The disputed border also covers some parts of the Jubilee oil field which is said to be the largest discovery in West Africa in recent times.
Mr. Gnangni told Ghanaian journalists visiting Abidjan that the two countries had resorted to dialogue to solve the dispute.
He said there had been several meetings between both countries on the issue but there had not been any final agreement.
“What we can rejoice about is that both countries have a fundamental agreement that they will find final resolution to this through dialogue.”
He noted “what I am happy about is that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are sister countries and our desire is that no matter what wealth we find in our communal boundary, we are hopeful that we are going to sought it out in a peaceful and friendly manner.”
The issue has attracted considerable media interests and international attention with Ghanaian authorities passing the Ghana Boundary Commission Bill into law.
The law subsequently established a commission to determine the country’s land and maritime boundaries, including the disputed area.
In a related development, Mr. Gnangni stated that like Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire was also recording oil production shortfall, as its targeted 80,000 barrels per day had dropped to about 35,000.
He attributed the shortfall to technical challenges, which he said, had been worked on and added that more oil fields were being explored to boost the production level.
He added that the recent political crisis in the country affected the oil industry negatively, as most of its partners had to leave which made it impossible to conduct further exploration.
From Esther Awuah, Back from Abidjan