The idea of oil tanker pirates might be closer to the U.S. after the State department recently warned of pirates in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yes, the Gulf of Mexico. Recall if you will these recent headlines and dates.
- Jul 2, 2019 – Remember those Somali pirates? Earlier this decade, they brazenly hijacked giant oil tankers.
- Aug 13, 2018 – The upswing in crude oil prices in the global market may have triggered sharp rise in pirates‘ attacks on crude oil tankers in the Gulf of Guinea.
- Nov 4, 2019 – Pirates attacked the Greek oil tanker Elka Aristotle off the coast of Togo’s capital city Lome and kidnapped four sailors on Monday.
- Dec 5, 2019 – Ships and tankers have increasingly become targets for pirates off the … 19 crew members from a Greek-owned crude oil tanker off Nigeria…
- Feb 6, 2018 – Pirates have released 22 Indian nationals taken captive after their oil tanker was boarded off the coast of West Africa last week.
- Of course, the subject of pirates became the stuff of legends in the 2013 making of “Captain Phillips,” the movie starring Tom Hanks. It was about the 2009 hijacking of Maersk Alabama by Somarlil pirates who held Captain Richard Phillips and his crew hostage until U.S. special forces came to the rescue.
Now The U.S. State Department warns of increased pirate activity in the southern Gulf of Mexico.According to a report from January 2019, there was a 310-percent increase in pirate activity in the southern Gulf of Mexico over the three years to end-2018.
There is increased threat of piracy in the southern Gulf of Mexico, with oil platforms and other installations a potential target, the U.S. government has warned.
“Armed criminal groups have been known to target and rob commercial vessels, oil platforms, and offshore supply vessels in the Bay of Campeche area in the southern Gulf of Mexico,” the State Department said in an updated travel advisory as quoted by Reuters.
There has been pirate activity in the Bay of Campeche for years, with the criminals posing as fishermen and attempting to board offshore platforms and vessels in the Gulf, according to reports in Mexican media. They were a headache for Mexico’s Pemex as they targeted its platforms, on several occasions succeeding in stealing things like pipes, electrical wiring, copper, and various equipment, as well as cash.
Source: Texas Energy Report