Giant oil tankers have always been a target of terrorism in recent years. However, there have been attacks on vessels and ships in recent times not because of our war against terrorism. An old ruthless character has returned to our world; but, this time they do not come with sabers, they bring guns. Pirate attacks have been increasing to a new high. The Gulf of Aden, which has over 21,000 vessels travel through each year and goes along the coast of Somalia, has had over 80 ships attacked this year. Just the other day the ship Sirius Star was hijacked by Somalian pirates. It was the largest ship ever hijacked and the ransom could be worth more than $100,000,000. The largest ransom before this was $30,000,000. Also, an Iranian cargo ship and Thai fishing ship has been taken for ransom. The next day the Indian Navy fought off a pirate attack; but, it shows how hostile the Gulf of Aden is currently. The pirates in Somalia our getting richer and expanding their operations. As the pirates became more powerful and continue to become more advanced, shipping companies panic and demand action. Norwegian shipping companies our now going through the Cape of Good Hope, which is costing them much more money. Action is tough because of many reasons. One thing is that Somalia has not had a functioning government for over 10 years; thus, the country has no way of stopping the pirates. Another problem is that Somalia has the longest coast in Africa; therefore, a long journey for ships until reaching safe waters. Many sea laws and human rights issues do not allow government or ships to take much action against the pirates. The European Union is sending eight ships to the gulf to be a watchful eye and patrol the area. The US has been considering attacks on Somalia. The US may at some point receive the OK to bomb pirate ports along the coast of Somalia. The pirates have become a big problem in oil transportation and are affecting the industry.
Nigerian Pipeline Attack
After militant attacks on a key pipeline on Thursday Chevron said they would be declaring a "force majeure" which freed Chevron from their contract with Nigeria. Approximately 90,000 barrels were affected in the heist. Since January 2006 Nigeria's oil production has been cut down by a quarter falling from 2.6 million barrels to about 2 million. In June Chevron was forced to cut 120,000 barrels per day in June for nearly a month when armed men blew up a key oil pipeline. Nigeria is a member of OPEC which pumps 40% of global crude and relies on oil for 99% of its exporting earnings and 85% for its government revenues.