Piracy declines in Gulf of Guinea as oil price deters looters

Piracy in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea has declined as the price of oil plunged to the lowest level since 2002.

While attacks on maritime vessels have dropped in the past year, nations bordering the gulf should work to continue improving security coordination, Gulf of Guinea Commission Executive Secretary Florentina Adenike Ukonga said in an interview in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Monday.

“With oil at a low bottom price of below $30 per barrel, piracy is no longer such a profitable business as it was when prices hit $106 a barrel a few years ago,” she said. “The price drop has contributed a great deal in reducing piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.”

Attacks on ships transporting oil in the Gulf fell by about a third in 2015 from a year earlier, Dryad Maritime, a U.K.- based shipping consultant, said in a report last month. Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is located on the Gulf of Guinea. There is a risk that the attacks will pick up speed once oil rebounds, Ukonga said.


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