According to reports, another Nigerian pirate accident took place in the Gulf of Guinea; This time, pirates attacked the FPSO Sendje Berge and kidnapped nine Nigerian nationals.
Specifically, BW Offshore issued a statement informing that at 4:20 a.m. local time its FPSO Sendje Berge was attacked by pirates offshore Nigeria, and nine Nigerian nationals were kidnapped. Dryad reports that three vessels approached the target with one acting as a decoy while the other two assaulted and boarded the Sendje Berge. The vessel was located on the Okwori field in Nigeria under contract to Addax Petroleum at the time of the assault.
The remaining people onboard are safe and no injuries have been reported. For the time being, the company is collaborating with the local authorities and the Nigerian Navy.
Following the incident, Dryad Global reports that the incident is “unique” within the wider realm of offshore incidents within West Africa. Dryad says the tactics used, including reports of explosives with possibly grenades and RPGs, is more consistent with attacks perpetrated by militants than pirates in the West African region.
Dryad also highlights that
Both the manner of attack and target are beyond the usual targeting and attack methodology of pirate action groups within Nigeria.
In addition, the kidnapping of foreign personnel by groups involved in militancy is not unusual for the Niger Delta according to Dryad, but offshore operations are less frequently the target. According to Dryad’s calculations, 72 people have been kidnapped in the region so far in 2020, represented a 50 percent increase in incidents versus the prior year.
In line with a growing concern over the continued attacks against ships in the Gulf of Guinea, Risk Intelligence has recorded almost 100 maritime security incidents across the region in 2019 to date, around one third of those involved tanker vessels of all types.