• 4 minutes Will We Ever See 100$+ OIL?
  • 8 minutes Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 11 minutes Energy Outlook for Renewables. Pie in the sky or real?
  • 5 hours Shale Oil will it self destruct?
  • 8 mins Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas in new homes
  • 13 hours Today in Energy
  • 4 hours Iran Captures British Tanker sailing through Straits of Hormuz
  • 4 hours Oil Rises After Iran Says It Seized Foreign Tanker In Gulf
  • 8 hours Drone For Drone = War: What is next in the U.S. - Iran the Gulf Episode
  • 2 days Mnuchin Says No Change To U.S. Dollar Policy ‘As of Now’
  • 2 days Populist, But Good: Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Private-Equity Funds
  • 34 mins Renewables provided only about 4% of total global energy needs in 2018
  • 2 days Migration From Eastern Europe Raises German Population To Record High
  • 2 days Washington Post hit piece attacking oil, Christians and Trump
  • 1 day Why Natural Gas is Natural
  • 24 hours LA Solar Power/Storage Contract
EU Slaps Sanctions On Turkey For Illegal Offshore Drilling

EU Slaps Sanctions On Turkey For Illegal Offshore Drilling

A surprisingly muscular response beyond…

Cracks In Gasoline Demand Weigh On Oil Markets

Cracks In Gasoline Demand Weigh On Oil Markets

Slowing economic growth has taken…

Pirate Attacks Increase in the Gulf of Guinea

I had always believed that pirates boarded oil tankers in order to take the crew and cargo hostage in return for a ransom, or to syphon off the cargo for illegal sale on the black market, but it seems as though the pirates aren’t above a bit of common mugging.

I say common, but it isn’t the most common thing in the world to discover that an oil tanker (its crew mainly) has been the victim of a mugging, but on Thursday the government, and maritime agency of Togo announced that pirates had looted a chemical tanker off the coast earlier in the week.

Traditionally the Horn of Africa has been a danger zone for pirate attacks, but whilst international navies are actively engaged in counter-piracy operations there, the growing piracy activities in the Gulf of Guinea (along the coasts of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast) has begun to grow exponentially, with little fear of naval retribution.

Related article: Has Piracy Around the Horn of Africa Gone?

Pirates from Nigeria are increasing attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea
Pirates from Nigeria are increasing attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea. (The Economist)

Gunmen approached the MT Ocean Centurion tanker on Tuesday, and boarded it around 45 miles south of the capital Lome, whereupon they did not hijack the ship, but rather stole money and possessions, before making a getaway.

The Togolese government sent out a naval vessel to the tanker after receiving a distress call in the wake of the attack. The tanker was then escorted to the port of Lome whilst the country’s navy hunted the pirates.

Related article: GE to ‘Power Africa’, Without the Risk

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) confirmed that “on July 16, the robbers took two crew members and disembarked from the tanker with the rescue boat, taking along ship's cash, crew cash and personal belongings. The crew were released later. Three crew members were injured during the incident.”

The increased number of pirate attacks in the area, mostly believed to be carried out by Nigerian gangs, have led to a sharp increase in the shipping and insurance costs for voyages along Africa’s West Coast, deterring investors from supporting projects in those coastal countries.

Another pirate attack from this week has also been announced. In a more traditional hijacking, pirates took control of an oil products tanker, taking hostage the 24 on board crew. The attack occurred just of the coast of Gabon, making it the most southerly pirate raid in the Gulf of Guinea.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play