Piracy’s Emerging Market: The Gulf of Guinea

Posted: 08/09/2011 in all marine news

David Rider – 

Despite the best efforts of the world’s navies and EU NAVFOR in particular, piracy in the Indian Ocean/Gulf of Aden and Red Sea areas shows no sign of abating. Quite the contrary, according to a report released by the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre in July this year.

Of the incidents reported, over sixty per cent were conducted by pirate gangs operating off the coast of Somalia and Arabian Sea. Indeed, the attacks were becoming more violent and pirates were taking much greater risks, the IMB stated.

The success of Somali pirates has not gone unnoticed by criminals in other parts of the African continent.

Since May this year, there have been increasing reports of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and off the coast of West Africa. The incidents prompted the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre to issue a specific warning in June, citing eight attacks off Cotonou, Benin.

Since then, the number of attacks has increased significantly, although it’s virtually impossible to accurately gauge the amount of pirate activity due to insufficient reporting from the region. One security analyst told Reuters that, “In Nigeria it is estimated that approximately 60 percent of pirate attacks go unreported”*.

The Gulf of Guinea is regarded as an important, emerging trade hub, spanning a dozen countries from the tip of Northwest Africa to Angola in the South. It is a valuable source of oil, and pirates in the region are currently targeting diesel and oil tankers in particular.

According to a Reuters report, the Gulf of Guinea produces more than 3 million barrels of oil a day, equivalent to 4% of the global total. This oil is ultimately destined for Europe and the USA, while some sources suggest that the USA will be receiving up to 25% of its oil supplies from the region by 2015.

Full story…


Comments are closed.