October 25 2013
photo by MC2 RJ Stratchko/U.S. Navy
A U.S. official has confirmed that two mariners thought to be U.S. citizens were kidnapped from an American ship in a pirate attack in the Gulf of Guinea off of the West African coast. The International Maritime Bureau notes that this is the 40th pirate attack reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2013.
Recently, the RAND Corporation released Promoting Energy Security: Volume 4, The Gulf of Guinea, a report that examines the current security situation in the Gulf of Guinea as relevant to petroleum and natural gas production and offers opportunities to protect the growing off-shore petroleum and natural gas infrastructures.
The report finds that the security problems of kidnappings of oil personnel, oil bunkering (tapping a pipeline to steal oil), and attacks on the petroleum infrastructure have reduced output of and restrained investment in Nigeria's energy sector. An estimated 15,000 barrels per day of oil were stolen in the region in 2008, and repeated assaults on infrastructure have forced oil companies to move out of the delta region and farther off shore under the belief that militants in speedboats could not travel that far. This assumption has proven to be incorrect, and the frequent attacks have discouraged investment to expand production.