Potential for Catastrophe

The former head of the Royal Navy Lord West of Spithead has warned that Somali pirates could create a “huge catastrophe” by disrupting the United Kingdom’s energy supplies.

During question time on Tuesday 15 March 2011, Lord West called for the Government to “reinvigorate” efforts to tackle the threat.

The Labour peer, who was First Sea Lord from 2002 to 2006, pointed out that “It is becoming a really, really dangerous issue and something will happen, I believe, in the near future that will make us all really pay attention“.

Specifically addressing the issue of LNG Lord West suggesting that the capture of LNG ships “would stop energy supplies or affect energy supplies to the UK – there could actually be a huge catastrophe“.

In the past the Foreign Office Minister, Lord Howell of Guildford, had warned that the situation was getting “more serious every week and more and more ships are being attacked by hijackers“.

In regards to Lord West’s comments Lord Howell replied that the government “recognised” his point and that the situation was a global issue and thus needs to be “tackled on a global level… before it gets worse“.

Photograph courtesy Government of the State of Connecticut

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Mark Lowe, Thursday 17 March 2011

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