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Oil Tanker Goes Missing After Pirate Attack

A Singapore-registered oil tanker has gone missing after it was attacked by pirates off the African coast.

The case is being investigated as an act of piracy by the maritime security center for West Africa, Bloomberg has reported.

The ship has some 20 crew on board.

Success 9, built in 2003, can carry oil and chemicals, with a capacity of 40,000 barrels. The last time the ship’s location was reported was in late March, when it was in the Gulf of Guinea, according to MarineTraffic.

Tanker piracy used to be a lot more rampant a decade ago but attacks have since declined substantially thanks to a tougher stance taken by relevant authorities.

Yet the Success 9 attack is now the second one in less than a month after reports emerged that another tanker, the Monjasa Reformer, was boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea in late March.

The Gulf of Guinea off West Africa has been a preferred location for pirates in recent years. The Gulf of Guinea, a key oil production hub adjoining no less than eight oil-exporting countries off the western African coast, is now officially the world's deadliest piracy hotspot.

In 2020, several oil tankers were attacked or approached with attempted attacks in the area.

Last year, the number of maritime piracy and armed robbery against ships globally fell to 115, the lowest recorded level in nearly three decades, ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said early this year. Yet, the IMB urged caution in the Gulf of Guinea.

"Sustained efforts are however needed to ensure the continued safety of seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea region, which remains dangerous as evidenced by two incidents in the last quarter of 2022," IMB said.

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According to the Bureau, piracy attacks fell to a three-decade low in the first quarter of this year, with 27 incidents being recorded, two attempts of hijacking, and one successful hijacking.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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