Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Published by The Maritime Executive
Published by The Maritime Executive
Published by The Maritime Executive
Published by William Thiesen
Published Dec 4, 2022 9:30 PM by The Maritime Executive
One week after the UN Security Council (UNSC) noted the changing dynamics of piracy in Gulf of Guinea (GoG), a new report attempts to explore the factors behind the shift.
The report is prepared under the Critical Maritime Routes Programme, funded by EU and implemented by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
One of the report’s key finding is that although piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is on a downward trend in the past few years, illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism is at an all-time high. Interestingly, the researchers found several indications pointing to the link between the two trends.
“Field research in the Niger Delta shows that high-level actors controlling pirate groups and oil bunkering may have reached consensus to stop allowing deep offshore piracy. A key factor remains that oil bunkering, when compared to deep offshore piracy, entails less risk and significantly higher reward or profit,” notes the report.
Additionally, the heavy presence of international and regional navies in the Gulf of Guinea has made piracy a risky business. Since 2021, there has been a pattern of failed attacks, and it has become increasingly difficult for pirate groups to kidnap seafarers from vessels deep offshore.
This influences the kidnap-for-ransom business model as the pirate groups return not just empty handed, but also indebted to the sponsor who paid for the fuel, bribery money and other expenses encountered in case of an unsuccessful mission.
At the end of the day, illegal oil bunkering is a multi-billion-dollar industry, while piracy and kidnap for ransom did not exceed more than a total of approximately $4 million in 2021.
Since the financial incentives are more favorable, members of pirate groups are now involved in the value chain of oil bunkering. According to one interviewee, this could explain the significant drop in pirate activities in the GoG.
In one case example, an illegal oil refining “camp” owned by a militant and member of a pirate group employs 300 “boys” today. According to the camp owner, nothing can stop them from operating the camp unless they are offered an “amnesty-like package” that will involve a monthly payment from Nigeria’s federal government.
In July 2022, Nigeria slipped behind Angola as Africa’s largest oil exporter. Some analysts blame industrial-scale oil theft as the reason behind the drop. Further, Nigeria’s crude oil production decreased to an average of 940,000 barrels per day in September 2022 – a level not seen since the 1980s.
Published Jan 2, 2023 10:06 PM by The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Navy is following the Air Force's lead in testing out a new low-cost, autonomous, stealthy fighter drone, which could contribute to the development of the service's manned/unmanned aviation teaming concept.  The Navy has committed $15 million to buy two XQ-58A Valkyrie combat drones from California-based manufacturer Kratos under a no-bid contract, the Pentagon announced Monday. Unlike the Navy's MQ-25 aerial tanker drone, which is unarmed from the ground up, the XQ-58A is being purchased for an explicitly combative "Penetrating Affordable…
Tugs & Salvage
Published Jan 2, 2023 8:41 PM by The Maritime Executive
A crew of quarry workers have unearthed the remains of a ship from the Elizabethan period in Kent, England, a rare archaeological find.  Workers with British cement company Cemex were dredging gravel out of a lake on the Dungeness headland when they stumbled on the remains of a wooden ship.  The location is about 1,000 feet inland, but archaeologists believe that the site was once right on the coastline. The vessel could have been wrecked or abandoned on the…
Published Jan 2, 2023 8:12 PM by The Maritime Executive
The Black Sea Grain Initiative was "a highlight of UN diplomacy" in 2022. In late July, with encouragement from the United Nations and the government of Turkey, Russia agreed to allow a limited number of cargo ships to transit to and from select Ukrainian seaports to load grain cargoes. It has been a partial success: In total, some 600-plus vessels carried 16 million tonnes of Ukrainian corn, wheat, sunflower seeds and other products to global markets in the second half of…
Tugs & Salvage
Published Jan 2, 2023 7:06 PM by William Thiesen
Ninety years ago, on Sunday, New Year’s Day 1933, Lt. Cmdr. Carl Christian von Paulsen started out on what would become one of early Coast Guard aviation’s best-known search and rescue cases.  Descended from German nobility, Carl Christian von Paulsen (far left) graduated from the Revenue Cutter Service Academy in 1913 and received his commission as a third lieutenant in the service. At the end of 1919, he began a series of…

© Copyright 2023 The Maritime Executive, LLC. All rights reserved.


By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *