Oil tankers run gauntlet in Nigeria’s pirate alley
Recent attacks prove threat remains.
Oil tankers run gauntlet in Nigeria’s “pirate alley”
A pirate attack that killed a supertanker crewman off the coast of Nigeria this week has highlighted a growing threat off oil-rich West Africa, as vessels carrying millions of barrels of crude traverse a region that has become known as “pirate alley”.
The 2 million barrel Kalamos Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) was heading to Nigeria’s main oil terminal when it was attacked late on Monday, leaving the ship’s Greek deputy captain dead and three crew members taken hostage.
Security experts say the waters off Nigeria are now the deadliest on earth, surpassing Somalia on Africa’s east coast, which gained notoriety due to months-long hijackings, high-cost ransoms, and U.S.-led rescue missions such as the one that inspired Hollywood movie “Captain Phillips”.
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