Please select your home edition
Edition
Lancer Lasts Longer

Splash & Grab – Oil theft blights gulf of Guinea

by Dryad Maritime on 29 Nov 2012
Gulf of Guinea ..
Dryad Maritime, the UK-based specialist in maritime intelligence, has completed an analysis of a specific type of maritime crime that poses a risk to shipping in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa.


The hijack of vessels for the theft of refined fuel cargoes, termed Extended Duration Robbery (EDR) by Dryad, has recently attracted media attention following an extension of the threat to the waters of Cote D’Ivoire.

According to Dryad, Nigerian criminal networks lie at the heart of this relatively sophisticated, violent crime which can see vessels under pirate control for up to seven days. Black market demand sustains the illegal market in stolen cargoes, whilst organised crime and corruption ensure its continuation in the face of regional attempt to deal with the symptons and tackle the causes.

Dryad data shows that the threat from EDR, in its current form, first emerged in August 2009 with an attack on the MT Trine Theresa in Nigerian waters, which saw the crew held hostage whilst the assailants transferred part of the oil cargo into a waiting vessel.

A subsequent attack on the MT Valle Di Cordoba in December 2010, again in Nigerian waters, was followed by an unprecedented number of attacks against vessels anchored off the coast of Benin. EDR attacks in 2012 have been largely confined to Togolese territorial waters, except the boarding and seizure of the MT Orfeas off the Ivory Coast on October 5th.

Analysis of post-incident data has enabled Dryad to build up a clear picture of the Modus Operandi of the pirates;

'A targeted tanker is boarded by armed assailants, most commonly at night, who proceed immediately to the bridge to gain control of the vessel,' explains Ian Millen, Director of Intelligence at Dryad Maritime.

'The crew is then taken hostage, with the captain and engineering staff kept at their posts under guard, and the vessel is taken to a specific destination where transfer of the cargo to another ship takes place. These attacks are increasingly costly and represent a terrifying situation for the crews of captured ships.'

Dryad’s analysis shows that many pirates appear to have a working knowledge of product tankers and are able to operate the hose system used to transfer fuel from one craft to another.

The most common cargo to be stolen is fuel oil, although incidents of armed theft against other types of vessels, including bulk carriers, have been reported, whilst opportunist crimes such as kidnap for ransom are also prevalent, adding to the ambient range of threats present in the region.

However, despite the clear and growing threat from EDR and recognition of the threat it poses (the UN Security Council held an open debate on the subject in October 2011) not enough is being done to combat the problem, making the Gulf of Guinea an increasingly hostile area for all mariners.

Even with the limited presence of the French and US navies in the area, and the ongoing efforts of regional navies to target pirates, the naval deterrent across the Gulf of Guinea is still not sufficient to combat the criminal syndicates involved in fuel cargo theft effectively.

Dryad’s experts predict that, in the short term at least, attacks against tankers will continue across the area, whilst the increasing sophistication and expertise of the pirates is also allowing them to target shipping far from their base, with the potential for the EDR threat to spread to the territorial waters of Ghana, Cameroon and elsewhere in West Africa.

The danger to shipping is leading to an increased demand for Dryad’s services as a source of maritime intelligence. The company’s risk assessments and vessel safety monitoring services are increasingly in demand, with Dryad increasing its number of analysts and exploring new tools and techniques to meet the increased volumes and deal with the complexities of evolving criminal capabilities.

These measures, combined with privileged sources in the region, have enabled Dryad to become a market-leading source of commercially-available maritime intelligence.

'We are doing all we can to combat the threat to shipping in the Gulf of Guinea. Our knowledge of the area and the ambient threats allows us to give our clients the best possible advice on how to mitigate the threats and avoid danger, whilst our analysts maintain a daily watch on suspect vessels and vessels of interest.

'Taken together, we hope that we are making a contribution to the overall safety of ships’ crews, vessels and their cargoes transiting through and operating in these dangerous waters,' added Ian Millen.

More at www.dryadmaritime.com
Hella Marine - July 2016Sydney Harbour Boat Storage 660x82PredictWind.com

Related Articles

VMR Whitsundays celebrate the arrival of their new rescue vessel
In a ceremony hosted at Abell Point Marina last week, VMR Whitsundays announced the arrival of their new rescue vessel. In a ceremony hosted at Abell Point Marina last week, VMR Whitsundays delightedly announced the arrival of their new rescue vessel. Abell Point Marina VMR 1, as it has been named, has been 10 years in the making and certainly a labour of love for the VMR committee.
Posted today at 4:05 am
Lessons learned from a boat fire in a neighbouring slip (pen)
We all learn from our experiences. How to do things better, faster, safer next time. We all learn from our experiences. How to do things better, faster, safer next time. But here’s one experience we’d rather not have – a fire on a boat in a slip nearby in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened two weeks ago to Chris Sullivan, who lives aboard his powerboat in a marina in Falmouth, Mass.
Posted today at 12:00 am
Marine Notice - Official Nautical Charts
Marine Notice draw attention to importance of using only official nautical charts to comply with flag State requirements This Marine Notice draws attention to the importance of using only official nautical charts to comply with flag State requirements, which implement the relevant regulations of Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended.
Posted on 23 Jul
Marine Notice - Biofouling and In-water Cleaning
The purpose of this Marine Notice is to provide general information to vessel owners on In-water Cleaning Guidelines The purpose of this Marine Notice is to provide general information to vessel owners, operators, ports and marinas on the revised 2015 Anti-fouling and In-water Cleaning Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand (the 2015 Guidelines), and the International Maritime Organization’s 2011 Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species
Posted on 23 Jul
Marine Notice - VHF marine radios - Automatic channel switching
This Notice provides information on how VHF channel switching may interfere with safe operation of vessel communications This Marine Notice provides information on how automatic VHF channel switching may interfere with the safe operation of vessel communications.
Posted on 23 Jul
Insider's guide to the best of the BVI - Keep this list!
Like many cruising people, I’ve been to the British Virgin Islands many times, and I think I know my way around. Like many cruising people, I’ve been to the British Virgin Islands many times, and I think I know my way around. Well, turns out I was just getting started. I found plenty of new places on this insider’s guide to the best of the BVI from someone who grew up and still lives there, and I can’t wait to go back to try some of them out.
Posted on 22 Jul
Abandoned and derelict vessels in Florida and the Caribbean
Abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) are a marine debris problem in many places around the United States In this region, which boasts both beautiful weather and waters, a high number of recreational and commercial boaters unfortunately equals a high number of ADVs.
Posted on 21 Jul
Boating Industry reader survey reports Ethanol repairs increasing
A new survey by Boating Industry magazine says those in the boating industry are seeing a growing number of problems A new survey by Boating Industry magazine says those in the boating industry that manufacture, sell, repair and store recreational vessels are seeing a growing number of problems caused by ethanol-related fuels. Said one Minnesota boat dealer in the survey, “Ethanol fuels are great for our service department but bad for our customers!”
Posted on 21 Jul
Adventure awaits at the Sydney International Boat Show
Sydney Int'l Boat Show celebrates its 50th year in 2017. The show will be hosting a number of fantastic presenters The Sydney International Boat Show celebrates its 50th year in 2017. The show will be hosting a number of fantastic presenters who exemplify the adventurous spirit. In particular, Michelle Lee and Lisa Blair will be on stage to share their incredible stories.
Posted on 20 Jul
Tracking mysterious oil in New Bedford Harbor
U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment is determined to track down sources and restore the health of the waterfront. Home to Massachusetts’ historic whaling fleet and the largest fishing fleet in the country, New Bedford is also a popular New England tourist destination. Visitors pour in each year to sample the local seafood and enjoy the historic waterfront. However, in recent times, the seaside sights along the harbor have been marred by the unwelcomed and distinct color palette of oil sheens on the water.
Posted on 20 Jul