Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Nigeria: JTF claims anti-bunkering success
JTF claims anti-bunkering success, while the US joins a regional meeting on the growing threat off the coast.
A Joint Task Force spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, said that the JTF had arrested 608 suspected oil thieves in the first half of 2013. The JTF mission in the Niger Delta, code-named Operation Pulo Shield, has impounded 24 vessels and destroyed 748 illegal refineries over that period.
Nwachukwu said that the JTF patrols had notified oil companies of the breaches in its pipelines in Bayelsa in good time. He claimed that the companies had been slow to react, which led to the shutdown of 190,000 b/d.
The US and Nigeria held the Gulf of Guinea Regional Maritime Awareness Capability conference at Calabar in Cross River State from 29-31 July. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has surged in the past year, with the International Maritime Bureau reporting in mid-July that the waters off the Nigerian coast have become far more perilous than the Gulf of Aden. Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke said piracy in the Gulf of Guinea had cost the world economy between US$750 million and US$950 million in 2012.
The conference brought together 13 African countries and was attended by representatives from US African Command (Africom) and the US Navy. A panel of Nigerian and US naval officers proposed joint training and information sharing among the West African countries to better develop a cohesive response to seaborne lawlessness. The delegates agreed a communiqué calling for a common legal scheme for maritime security among the Gulf of Guinea states.
© 2013 Menas Associates