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An offshore vessel was attacked and approached by pirates on Tuesday on their way to an FPSO off the coast of Nigeria.
An analyst at the EOS Risk Group shared a social media post on Tuesday that pirates boarded the Saavedra Tide maritime support ship while the ship was on its way to Abo camp for Aegina’s FPSO. The vessel is owned by Tidewater.
The incident allegedly happened at 18:00 local time, 22.5 nm WNW of Aegina FPSO.
Jake Longworth, a senior intelligence analyst at the EOS Risk Group who shared the news, said: “As a break-in incident, details remain scarce and it is currently unclear whether pirates remain on board. The likely modus operandi is kidnapping for rescue, but with the crew allegedly locked inside the citadel, the PAG may attempt to attack other vessels nearby until a successful hijacking is achieved, “said EOS Risk Group analyst.
He warned that vessels near the fields of Egina, Akpo and Agbami should maintain greater vigilance.
Offshore Energy Today he came to the EOS Group analyst for more information.
Responding to our question, Longworth said that the ship was believed to have been released by hijackers at around 10 pm local time, with the crew emerging from the citadel later.
The analyst at the EOS Risk Group told Offshore Energy Today that there are no reports of kidnapping and that the status of the pirate group is unknown, but “they may still be at sea.”
Offshore Energy Today also reached the Nigerian defense forces and Tidewater for confirmation and more information.
A Tidewater spokesman eventually responded by confirming that the incident had taken place.
The spokesman said Wednesday afternoon: “We can confirm that the M / V Saavedra Tide was shipped yesterday. At this point, the ship and the crew are safely back to port if they are no longer there. Additional details will be reported.
Armed and violent
According to a recent International Maritime Bureau report, during the nine months ended September 30, 2018, there were 41 effective attacks and attempted attacks on ships in Nigeria, which was the largest number in the world in the period. Nigeria is followed by Indonesia, which has had 31 attacks.
As for Africa, no one comes close to Nigeria, as the two nations that share the second place in the number of effective attacks and attempts are Benin and Ghana, with five incidents reported each for the nine months of 2018. It is worth noting that many attacks are not reported.
According to the IMB, pirates in Nigeria are often heavily armed, violent and attack seized and stolen vessels, hijacked crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.
Although the number of attacks appears to be the largest in Nigeria, data from the EOS Risk Group show that Nigerian pirates are also responsible for attacks not only on Nigeria’s waters but also on those in neighboring countries.
82 kidnapped in 2018 – Pirates across borders
Jake Longworth of the EOS Risk Group, who was one of the first to break the Tidewater attack news, was kind enough to share with Offshore Energy Today some intriguing statistics on piracy and offshore attacks in West Africa.
See below the offshore statistics for 2018 so far, as compiled by the EOS Risk Group. Note that the numbers do not take into account the Niger Delta:
- TOTAL INCIDENTS IN 2018 : 111 incidents (piracy, suspicious activity and harassment based on harbors and anchorages) across West Africa so far in 2018. This excludes piracy activity in the Niger Delta.
- So far in 2018, there have been 48 confirmed OFFSHORE Nigerian pirate attacks, which occur within the EEZs of Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. The EOS Risk Group reported 43 OFFSHORE Nigerian pirate attacks in 2017. This is an increase of 11% over the numbers for 2017.
- KIDNAP STATS : 82 seafarers were hijacked at OFFSHORE and held hostage in Nigeria until 2018. The EOS recorded 75 offshore hijackings in 2017 and 52 hijacked OFFSHORE in 2016. That’s a rise of 9% this year compared to 2017, or 58 % increase compared to the values of 2016.
- Many others are abducted and attacked within the Niger Delta River and in the river network, which is not included in the statistics above.
- SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY : The EOS Risk Group recorded 15 cases of suspicious activities / approaches that did not result in an attack.
Giving his opinion on the offshore piracy situation in Nigeria, Longworth said: “About 90% of Nigerian pirate attacks continue to occur near the port area of Port Harcourt, Bonny and Onne in the state of Rivers, typically 110 nm offshore. “
He believes the problem may develop before next year’s elections, and also emphasizes the extended reach of Nigerian pirates and the importance of adequate intelligence and advisory support for companies doing business in the area.
“The complex links between politics, conflict and crime in the Niger Delta can contribute to an increased risk of piracy until the elections of February 2019 have passed,” Longworth said.
“As the kidnapping for oil theft has reemerged as a threat in 2018 in conjunction with soaring oil prices, the geographical scope of Nigerian piracy has also expanded, with attacks this year outside Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. “
The Senior Intelligence Analyst said: “Shipping companies operating in West Africa need to understand the myriad security risks that are present and how best to mitigate them. Investing in adequate intelligence and advisory support may sometimes seem like an unnecessary cost, but expert advice and risk assessments can help prevent or lessen the impact of security incidents with potentially serious financial, legal and reputational consequences. “
Source: Click Petroleo