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

Bear Head LNG requests DOE permits to export US natural gas

03/03/2015 Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Bear Head LNG Corp. and Bear Head LNG LLC (USA), have filed an application with the US Depa...

TAP initiates contracts for offshore section construction

03/03/2015 Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG has launched two pre-qualification contracts for building the natural gas pipeline’s 105-km offshore section throu...

Pennsylvania governor asks Obama for stronger crude-by-rail rules

03/02/2015 Noting that 60-70 trains/week carry Bakken crude oil across Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area or other East Coast refineries, Gov. Tom Wolf (D)...

Gassco takes over as operator of Knarr pipeline

03/02/2015 Gassco has taken over as operator of the Knarr pipeline, which will transport rich gas to the Shell-Esso Gas and Liquids (Segal) system and St. Fer...

IHS: Crude transported by Keystone XL would be consumed in US

03/02/2015 Most, if not all, of the crude oil that would be transported via the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the US Gulf Coast would not be exported, and ...

Obama vetoes bill approving Keystone XL crude oil pipeline

03/02/2015 US President Barack Obama vetoed S. 1, authorizing construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, saying that Congress had attempted ...

BP: Global energy demand to jump 37% by 2035

03/02/2015 Global demand for energy is expected to rise by 37% from 2013 to 2035, or by an average of 1.4%/year, due in large part to ongoing economic expansi...

Work stoppages commence at largest US refinery, three other facilities

03/02/2015 The United Steelworkers (USW) union has launched additional work stoppages at the largest refinery in the US and three other facilities as part of ...

Method improves high-pressure settle-out calculations

03/02/2015 Settle-out calculations in natural gas systems need to be sufficiently rigorous accurately to predict settle-out under various operating conditions...
White Papers

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

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

When Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

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