• 1 day PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 1 day Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 1 day Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 1 day Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 1 day Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 2 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 2 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 2 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 2 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 2 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 2 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 2 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 2 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 2 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 3 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 3 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 3 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 3 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 3 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 3 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 3 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 4 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 4 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 4 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 5 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 5 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 5 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 5 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 5 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 5 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 5 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 5 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 5 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 5 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 6 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 6 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 6 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Are Oil Markets Becoming Immune To Geopolitical Risk?

Are Oil Markets Becoming Immune To Geopolitical Risk?

The geopolitical risk premium in…

Are Combustion Engines Reaching Peak Demand?

Are Combustion Engines Reaching Peak Demand?

As countries announce plans to…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

Kidnapping Now More Profitable for Pirates Than Cheap Oil

Kidnapping Now More Profitable for Pirates Than Cheap Oil

Pirates operating off the coasts of West Africa are having a tough time turning a profit with oil prices so low, forcing them to once again adapt and shift focus away from hijacking oil tankers to the more lucrative kidnapping for ransom.

The conclusions are part of a report drawn up by the U.S. foundation Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), a privately funded and independent non-profit organization located in Colorado. "They have had to move towards a faster model and that faster model is kidnappings," OBP's Matthew Walje said. Walje went on to say that in one instance, ransom payouts were as high as $400,000.

Related: Why Oil Prices Will Likely Drop Below $40 Soon

"It only takes a few hours as opposed to several days to conduct the crime itself," he added. "Fuel prices have fallen, which cuts into their bottom line."

Amid a surge in the number of crew members being kidnapped, 23 people were killed by pirates in West Africa in 2015. Overall in 2015, there were 54 attacks, down from 67 the year before. A majority of the piracy assaults were kidnappings, rather than the oil tanker hijackings for cargo, which accounted for the majority of piracy assaults in previous years. Oil tankers were targeted in just 18 percent of these maritime attacks, compared to more than 50 percent in 2014, OBP further shows.

Related: A 4.5-Million-Barrel Per Day Oil Shortage Looms: Wood Mackenzie

Experts say that hijacking an oil tanker poses many logistical issues for pirates, such as the need for more vessels, whereas kidnapping occur quickly, enabling the pirates to then focus on evading authorities. Walje explained that some of the gangs operating in the gulf are the same ones that have operated within Nigeria, where kidnapping is a common crime. Last month, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea agreed to combine patrols in an effort to increase security.

The estimated costs of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea were $719.6 million in 2015, down from $983 million in 2014. In 2014, 47 percent of this cost was borne by the maritime sector, according to OBP.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News