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22.11.2008 General News

Navy must be equipped to protect oil operations

By GNA

Mr Gabriel Q.A. Osatey, the Geophysicist of the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation said the Ghana Navy should be well-equipped to protect the oil wells when drilling takes off in 2010.

He was speaking on "Enhancing Maritime Security in Ghana's Domain for

Socio-Economic Development," at a five-day convention for senior naval officers on Friday at Takoradi.

Mr Osatey said the presence of the navy was necessary to check oil thefts on high seas by organised criminals and militant locals who might disrupt onshore installations under the pretext of securing more oil wealth for their communities.

He said the first phase to be completed in 2012 would drill 17 wells and gas water injection wells and production wells.

Mr Osatey said the Takoradi Port is the main operation base to handle heavy equipment and materials for oilfield operations but the current facilities at the Port are inadequate adding a civilian airbase would also be needed at Takoradi to handle extended oil field operations.

Papa Yaw Atobrah, an official of the Ministry of Fisheries, said a monitoring control surveillance system would be put in place to monitor fishing operations in the country's territorial waters when the exploration begins.

He said government would enforce the Fisheries Act and regularly inspect licenses of fishing vessels.

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