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General News of Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Kosmos Energy to be fined over oil spillage

Oil giant Kosmos Energy may pay a huge penalty to government for an oil spill in the Jubilee fields in the Western Region.

A committee constituted by the Environment Minister is holding series of meetings to determine the appropriate sanctions to be applied.

In December last year, Kosmos spilled about 600 barrels of low toxicity oil-based mud in its exploratory operations in the Jubilee Fields, Joy News has learnt.

In March this year, the company again spilled another quantity of the product into the sea, contrary to its environmental regulations.

Following this, Environment Minister Sherry Ayittey constituted a committee chaired by her deputy Dr. Omane Boamah to determine appropriate sanctions.

The committee has membership from the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.

It also includes membership from the Ghana Environmental Conventions Coordinating Authority.

Joy News has learnt that the committee is deeply worried that Kosmos could be spilling, at least, six times every year if the recorded cases in its exploratory activities are anything to go by.

The committee is holding series of meetings with relevant agencies after Kosmos admitted the offence in a preliminary report.

Information picked up by Joy News indicates the committee will be meeting officials of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday as it determines the appropriate sanctions to be applied.

Representatives of Kosmos have also arrived in the country to meet the committee.