Oil companies lose 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day to pirates on Nigerian waters —- As IMB rates Gulf of Guinea most dangerous

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Oil companies lose 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day to pirates on Nigerian waters  —- As IMB rates Gulf of Guinea most dangerous

Peter Olaniyi

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a global maritime watch dog, has claimed that oil companies operating in Nigeria lose about $1.5 billion worth of crude oil  to pirate attacks on Nigerian waters.

In a study conducted by the global maritime watchdog, the loss translates to 400,000 barrels of crude daily, adding that has made the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous piracy zone for oil companies, with a record of attacks in recent years.

Nigeria is one of the nations in the volatile region.

According to the report, the first quarter of 2020 was marked by a peak in maritime piracy worldwide, with the Gulf of Guinea recording 21 of the 47 reported attacks. Seventeen crew members were also kidnapped during these attacks.

In 2019, 38 attacks were reported throughout the year worldwide. There are 121 kidnappings for the Gulf of Guinea, 90% of the total sea abductions in the world.

According to experts, this situation is explained by the fact that the Gulf of Guinea is home to at least eight oil exporting countries with extensive exploration programs throughout the area which will see more new producers in the coming years.

“It should be noted that the majority of incidents occurred in Nigerian territorial waters, in particular around the Niger Delta, in Equatorial Guinean waters, but also, to a lesser extent, on the maritime platform of the port of Lagos” the report said.

For Verisk Maplecroft, this trend should continue and strengthen this year and next year.

Alexandre Raymakers, senior analyst for Africa at Verisk Maplecroft, regrets the lack of adequate equipment and personnel within the region’s security forces to deal effectively with the problem.

He also recalls that the poor redistribution of the oil windfall is the real basis of this phenomenon.

In addition, the analyst warns that international oil companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, ENI and Total, which operate in Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, are particularly at risk of piracy in their supply chains in the area.

In Nigeria, piracy has led to the loss of an average of 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which is equivalent to about $ 1.5 billion per month.

This represents almost 5% of the country’s GDP.

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