News / Africa

Pirates Seize Oil Tanker with $200 Million of Crude

The Italian oil tanker Mv Savina Caylyn, which was seized by pirates east of the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, February 8, 2011
The Italian oil tanker Mv Savina Caylyn, which was seized by pirates east of the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, February 8, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Sean Maroney

Armed pirates have hijacked a U.S.-bound oil tanker carrying about $200 million worth of crude off the coast of Oman. Authorities say the Greek-flagged vessel has a crew of 25, including 17 Filipinos, seven Greeks and one Georgian.

This is the second pirate seizure of an oil tanker in as many days. Experts say that while the price tag of the vessel’s cargo is shocking, it is the location of the incident that is far more alarming.

Suspected Somali pirates captured the supertanker Irene SL early Wednesday off the coast of Oman as it was transporting some 2 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude oil destined for the United States.

Bill Box is the communications manager for INTERTANKO, an association whose members own about three-quarters of the world’s tanker fleet. The Irene SL falls under this group.

Box said that with one hijacking, the pirates were able to seize one-fifth of the United States’ total daily imports of crude oil, worth an estimated $200 million. He emphasized, though, the real cause for concern is the location of Wednesday’s incident.

"The pirates are spreading their net much wider right out over the Indian Ocean, all the way over toward the coast of India," said Box. "I mean, this hijacking of this Irene SL happened 1,000 miles from the coast of Somalia."

Box said this area is right in the middle of the main shipping lanes that connect the Persian Gulf and the rest of the world.

Wing Commander Paddy O’Kennedy is the spokesman for the European Union’s anti-piracy force. He said pirates have a longer reach now because more are operating from so-called "motherships," larger vessels that serve as launching pads for smaller ships to carry out attacks. He said this has allowed pirates to launch more attacks year-round.

"At the moment, the northeast monsoon is blowing," said O’Kennedy. "In the past, they hadn't been able to get off the beach because of the size of the waves. Now the weather is really not having much of an effect because they're using these motherships."

O’Kennedy said his organization is teaching shipping companies how vessels can better defend themselves against armed assaults. He said training and sea patrols, however, are not going to make Somali piracy go away.

"In terms of how we can solve this problem, we’re not going to solve it at sea; we know that," said O’Kennedy. "We’re not deterring piracy because the business model is just too rewarding for Somalis."

O’Kennedy notes that Somali pirates have made hundreds of millions of dollars by hijacking ships for ransom in recent years. He said only by helping Somalis create an effective government can the problem be solved.

According to the EU’s anti-piracy task force, pirates currently are holding at least 30 ships and more than 700 hostages.


You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid