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Jubilee Field: oil versus fish, Ghana


The Jubilee field is located 60km offshore, between the Deepwater Tano and West Cape Three Points blocks in Ghana. Offshore oil was discovered in 2007 and after rapid development, pumping began in 2011. The commercial partners of the Jubilee Field are Tullow Oil plc (34.70%), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (23.49%), Kosmos Energy (23.49%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (13.75%), Sabre Oil and Gas (2.81%) and the E.O. Group (1.75%). Production began without a national policy on oil and gas development or a long awaited petroleum revenue management law in place. In addition, the EIA was criticized for failing to address the impact of the development on coastal communities and lack of dialogue on sea use, compensation, and community development concerns. During development toxic drilling mud was spilt. 600 barrels spilt in December 2009 [2]. Pollution is therefore one of the effects experienced by coastal communities, along with restricted fishing zones and increased sea traffic. Serious concerns have been expressed regarding impacts on fisheries as an important source of income and food for many communities [4]. Fishermen are angry about a 500-meter no-fishing zone around the Jubilee Field. Boats and motors have been seized and fisherman say lighting from the vessels in the zone attract fish. Inflation, higher rents and land prices have also been felt. Coastal communities are thus observed to be becoming poorer at the same time as development increases standard of living costs [4].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Jubilee Field: oil versus fish, Ghana
State or province:Western Region
Location of conflict:Sekondi-Takoradi
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:
Crude oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The Jubilee Field started producing 70,000 barrels per day in 2010, with estimates of peak production per day put at 120,000 barrels[2].

By the end of 2012, companies estimated that oil production had reached over 105,000 barrels per day.

The Jubilee field has 600 million barrels of proven reserves and a potential for over 1.5 billion barrels of oil. The production rate was expected to provide more than $1 billion per year to Ghana in the early years[2] and it has been predicted that Ghana will become the regions third-largest producer after Nigeria and Angola[1].

Level of Investment:3000000000
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:2007
Company names or state enterprises:Tullow Oil Plc from United Kingdom
Kosmos Energy from United States of America
Kosmos Energy Ghana from Ghana
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Science, Environment and Technology, Enviromental Protection Agency, Minister of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Corporación financiera Internacional (CFI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Hen Mpoano Initiative, Civil Society Platform on Oil/Gas, Friends of the Nation

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Oil spills
Other Environmental impactsImpacts over fisheries
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Development of alternatives:Fishing accounts for nearly 5 percent of Ghanas GDP.
Jobs in the offshore oil industry for Ghanaians are unlikely to number more than 400. At a Trades Union Congress workshop held in Accra on February 25, 2011, Mohameed Amin Adam, from the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, said 400 jobs was the latest government estimate. Thats about half the jobs that should be generated by the Jubilee field by 2020.
Fishing, meanwhile, directly or indirectly supports up to 10 percent of the countrys population, approximately 2 million people involved mostly in localized catching, marketing and processing.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Jubilee Field is in operation and the negative affects on coastal communities have been documented.

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Petroleum Revenue Management Law

Petroleum (Exploration and Production) law

(PNDC Law 84)

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) framework

The Petroleum Commission Act passed in June 2011

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[2] Ghanas Oil Boom: A readiness report card (2011). Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

[1] Badgley, Christiane (2012). Oil-industry regulation lags behind as Ghana ramps up production.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[3] Badgley, Christine (2011). Fishing and the offshore oil industry: A delicate imbalance. Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

[4] Friends of the Nation (2009). Press statement on fisheries. Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

Pipeline Dreams (2012). Offshore drilling, noise and whale deaths: is there a connection? Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

Ghana Oil Online (2011). Strategy to address environmental concerns of oil industry. Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

Modern Ghana (2012). Oil production now over 105, 000 barrels per day. Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

Quartey, Kwei (2012). Ghanaian Oil: Only for the 1 Percent? Available at: Accessed 6 January 2013.

Ghana Business News (2012). Community takes measures to prevent encroachment on lands due to oil find. Available at Accessed 6 January 2013.

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Meta information

Contributor:Patrick Burnett
Last update08/04/2014