Pirates seize another tanker off Yemen

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 -- Pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden, shrugging off recent military and political developments aimed at curbing their activities, hijacked the MV Longchamp, a German tanker bound from Europe to the Far East with a cargo of liquefied petroleum gas.

The tanker was seized before dawn on Jan. 29 by seven pirates in a corridor patrolled by EU naval forces off southern Yemen, about 95 km from the port of al-Mukalla.

German firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which manages the Bahamas-flagged vessel, reported that crew members—12 Filipinos and an Indonesian—were safe and that no ransom demands have yet been made.

This month there have been 15 attacks on vessels and three ships seized, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center.

Actions against pirates
More than a dozen warships from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Iran now patrol Somali waters, and China and South Korea have ordered warships to the region to protect their vessels and crews.

In addition, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Jan. 28 ordered the Japanese navy to prepare ships to join the international fight, as the island nation depends on shipping for oil and other imports. Hamada said his dispatch order was an interim measure until Parliament passes a formal law outlining the ships' activities in their mission.

The decline in successful attacks since foreign navies rushed to the busy sea lane had raised optimism that piracy was being curbed, but the outlaws are finding ways to evade the warships. They pay "partners" in other countries for inside information on ships' routes, timetables, guards, and other information, and thus know which vessels are unguarded and when and where to strike them. Success has made them bolder.

The Sirius Star, bearing a load of crude valued at $100 million, for example, was seized in the Indian Ocean on Nov. 15, more than 800 km southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, marking a sharp escalation of high seas piracy; previously it had been confined to Somalia's coastal waters (OGJ Online, Jan. 13, 2009).

Somali pirates also captured the Saudi Arabian-owned MV Sirius Star supertanker on the high seas, releasing it earlier in January after receiving a $3 million ransom.

Insurance rates rising
At a UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute conference on piracy off Somalia held in Turin, Italy, Jan. 28, International Maritime Bureau Director Pottengal Mukundan said insurance rates are rising because more claims must be paid in the wake of the increasing acts of piracy and the threat of them.

Until recently traditional piracy—taking cargo, money, and equipment from crews—was not considered a major issue for the insurance industry. But concern is mounting that ransom in the millions of dollars being paid for ships, cargoes, and crews off Somalia and Nigeria may become a "business model" for other pirates globally, especially off Southeast Asia and eastern South America, said Dieter Berg, head of marine insurance at the German firm Munich Re.

Curbing piracy
In developments aimed at curbing piracy in the Somalia region, Kenya has agreed to prosecute pirates captured by the US Navy, which announced plans to increase its anti-piracy efforts.

In addition, on Jan. 29, nine countries in the region adopted the Djibouti code of conduct on the repression of piracy, agreeing to establish piracy information centers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Sanaa, Yemen; and Mombasa, Kenya.

"[It] is the first regional mechanism established for African and Arab nations," said Koji Sekimizu, the director of the Maritime Safety Division at the International Maritime Organization.

Related Articles

Keystone XL decision isn’t imminent, White House press secretary says

08/28/2015 A presidential decision on TransCanada Corp.’s cross-border permit application for its proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is not imminent, Whi...

Extension sought for Mackenzie Gas Project

08/28/2015 The earliest possible construction start for the Mackenzie Gas Project, which would connect natural gas fields in the Canadian Arctic with northwes...

Rosneft, Egas sign master LNG supply, purchase deal

08/28/2015

Rosneft Group unit Rosneft Trading SA and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (Egas) have signed a master LNG supply and purchase agreement.

Apache taking Woodside to court over Wheatstone LNG cash dispute

08/27/2015 Houston independent Apache Corp. is taking Woodside Petroleum Ltd. to court over an alleged unpaid $64 million cash call associated with the sale o...

North Sea Midstream buys gas assets from Total for $905 million

08/27/2015 North Sea Midstream Partners Ltd. (NSMP) has agreed to acquire 67% operated interest in the Shetland Island regional gas export system (SIRGE), 100...

TransCanada, LDCs reach deal on Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects

08/24/2015 TransCanada Corp. has reached an agreement with local distribution companies Gaz Metro Ltd. Partnership, Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc., and Union ...

Like Keystone XL, Energy East caught in a chokehold

08/24/2015

Another important pipeline finds itself in a chokehold.

US reportedly will begin limited crude oil swaps with Mexico

08/24/2015 The Obama administration will begin to allow limited US crude oil swaps with Mexico, multiple news organizations reported. The US Department of Com...

Pennsylvania's governor issues crude-by-rail study he commissioned

08/24/2015 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued a study he commissioned in late April of issues stemming from the growing number of crude oil shipments by ra...
White Papers

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected