Ivory Coast lets US company expore for oil in disputed area

ivory_coastIvory Coast has concluded an agreement with the US oil company Anadarko to explore for oil in an area disputed with neighbouring Ghana.

The production sharing agreement for a deepwater block of 1,038 square kilometres (401 square miles) foresees at least $30 million (27 million euros) invested in exploration that should get under way in December, according to a government statement received Friday.

Anadarko has 90 percent of the block and Ivory Coast’s national oil company Petroci the remaining 10 percent.

The block is in an area disputed with Ghana, a promising area where several oil companies including Total, Lukoil and Tullow Oil have reported significant finds.

Ghana and Ivory Coast disagree over their maritime border, which runs through the promising area.

Ivory Coast has taken the case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which told Ghana to limit its activity in the area until a ruling is handed down.

With a modest output of 40,000 barrels per day, Ivory Coast has been keen to step up exploration.

Ghana launched production in 2010 after the discovery of what has been called the most important offshore oil discovery in the region in a decade.

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