Dutch-based oil ship attacked off Nigerian coast
On Saturday, a volatile situation in the waters around Nigeria became further inflamed with the kidnapping of four foreigners and the murder of two Nigerian naval guards.
As reported by Agence France-Presse, the ship, which was being used by a Dutch oil servicing company, was attacked off the cost of Bonny, Nigeria’s main oil export terminal. The company, Netherlands-based Sea Trucks Group, is involved in oil and gas production in Nigeria, Australia, and East Asia.
Gunmen stormed the ship around 1 a.m. Saturday morning and took four of the company’s employees after killing two Nigerian naval guards who were stationed on the ship for protection. Two other naval guards were injured in the attack.
The Herald Sun quoted company spokeswoman, Corrie van Kessel as stating, “At this time Sea Trucks Group is making every effort to ascertain the whereabouts of its personnel.”
There has been an increase in armed insurgents in the Niger Delta who claim that the oil-rich waters are being robbed and the Nigerian environment destroyed with crude production.
The Herald Sun article references a 2009 amnesty deal that decreased attacks and allowed Nigeria to resume its role as Africa’s largest oil producer. However, recent years have seen a spike in attacks.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports that 32 incidents of piracy were documented in the first half of 2012, up from the 25 total attacks in 2011.
So far, the company has not confirmed the nature of its activities on this particular vessel and officials have not ascertained the motive for the attack.