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Africa Risk Compliance Limited

Gulf of Guinea – January 2018

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Maritime Security Incidents Reports •

5th January 2018. Kidnapping. Nembe Creek, Bayelsa, Nigeria.. Accountant with Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, Chief Numudogio Micah, was kidnapped whilst sailing in creeks. Kidnappers demanded 30 million naira ransom.

9th January 2018. Hijack. South of Cotonou Anchorage, Benin. Vessel hijacked with all 24 crew onboard. Boat released on 16th off Bayelsa with no crew kidnapped and no cargo taken.

13th January 2018. Kidnap. Foropa-Gbarain Waterways, Bayelsa, Nigeria. Pirates attacked a boat conveying a soldier and two other persons to Yenagoa, shot the boat driver and took away the soldier. They also stole the boat engine.

18th January 2018. Kidnap, Ajoki Community, Ikpoba Okha LGA, Edo State, Nigeria. 5 oil workers en route to an offshore location were kidnapped by gunmen. The gunmen fired into the air, ordered the workers into their own boat and escaped. Oil workers were freed on 2 February.

21st January 2018. Boarding. Douala Anchorage, Cameroon. OOW spotted robber on starboard side of deck. Alarm raised and one Cameroonian Navy guard fired a warning shot. Robber jumped overboard into a canoe where an accomplice was waiting.

24th January 2018. Fired On. 49nm SW of Bonny FWB, Nigeria. A bulk carrier was attacked by 2 speed boats with 2 or 3 armed men, which approached the vessel from the starboard side and fired at the vessel. The vessel increased her speed and the attackers turned away. Vessel and crew confirmed as safe.

24th January 2018. Attack. 47nm S of Brass, Nigeria. Tanker issued distress call via VHF and AIS was lost. Nigerian Navy personnel on board repelled the attack.

Analysis In January, there were several major maritime security incidents in the area. The hijack of the tanker south of Cotonou is the first in Benin waters since 2012. Benin has long been considered a safer territory than Togo and Nigeria, with few ships taking additional security whilst calling there. The threat in Benin has continued with the hijacking of another tanker on 1st February 2018 (to be covered in ARC Monthly Update – February). 2 incidents south of Brass, Nigeria show the continued threat in the waters south of Brass and Bonny, Nigeria. These two attacks occurred further west than recent incidents which were near and more directly south of Bonny. The actions of an embarked Nigerian Navy team were instrumental in repelling the attackers in the incident on the tanker on the 24th January. Aside from robbery incidents within anchorages and the hijack of the tanker off Benin, the main intent of the pirates continues to be kidnap for ransom, and therefore all vessels are at risk. The last 6 months have seen tankers, cargo vessels and offshore support vessels attacked. The types of vessels attacked in the last month demonstrate that this trend continues. Government security forces in the area, particularly away from main oil and gas installations, are weak, and the use of additional security is highly recommended, as the pirates take advantage of opportunistic targets. 2


Maritime Security Incidents Reports •

1st January 2018. Robbery. Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria. 4 robbers boarded a vessel whilst alongside at the jetty. The Office on Watch spotted the robbers and raised the alarm, causing the robbers to jump overboard with stolen jerry cans of grease. They boarded a small boat alongside the tanker where two other robbers were waiting and escaped.

8th January 2018. Attempted Cargo Theft. Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria. A tanker in Lagos Anchorage was boarded by 2 persons. After the crew spotted them they jumped overboard. After a search of the area, a hose in a cargo tank was found..

15th January 2018. Boarding. Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria. A small boat with 5 people inside was seen on the port side. At 0300UTC, the office on watch saw 2 persons on the forecastle and raised the alarm. The persons jumped overboard and departed on the small boat..

27th January 2018. Boarding. Lagos Anchorage. Tanker was boarded by 1 robber. Crew spotted the robber and raised the alarm and contacted the Navy authorities. The robber fled on seeing the reaction of the crew. Nothing was stolen and the crew is safe.

Analysis There has been a significant increase in maritime security incidents in Lagos, with 10 incidents since the 21st November 2017. Criminals have mainly targeted tankers, with attempts at both robbery of ships/crew belongings and cargo theft using hoses to siphon fuel cargo. All ships calling at Lagos port and anchorage should enact additional security measures, especially at night. All incidents have occurred during night time. Lagos and other ports in the region continue to have issues with stowaways. All ships should ensure that there are no means of easy access for unauthorised individuals and should monitor any small boats in their vicinity, especially if the vessel is just about to leave. A ship-wide stowaway search should be conducted prior to departure.

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Niger Delta – Militancy, Community Conflict and Industrial Action Reports •

1st January 2018. Omuku, Rivers State, Nigeria. 14 people killed, 12 injured, by gunmen after New Years Day service.

4th January 2018. Aladja, Delta State, Nigeria. Militants attack JTF base, resulting in 1 militant killed and several injured.

5th January 2018. Ndoro, Ekeremor LGA, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Militants behead security official negotiating arms surrender. Nigerian military forces armed response sees several militants and soldiers killed over following weeks.

20th January 2018. Onne, Rivers, Nigeria. Navy arrest vessel MT Marina Express and 2 crew members with stolen petroleum product on board.

24th January 2018. Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. 2 Marine Police officers killed by militants at their base. Rifles and outboard engine also stolen.

27th January 2018. Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Ex-militants protest against noninclusion in amnesty programme.

Analysis January 2018 has seen several militant groups be very vocal; however, there has been, so far, no follow through with their threats: • The militant group the Niger Delta Avengers have released a statement threatening to attack “the deep sea operations of the multinationals”. The statement names the following installations: Bonga Platform (operated by Shell), Agbami FPSO (operated by Chevron), EA Field, assets of the firm Brittania-U and the Akpo Field (Total, CNOOC, Petrobas and Sapetro). • A Nigerian newspaper has reported thatmilitant leaders in Calabar, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Edo states in southern Nigeria met in Calabar to plan attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, in an operation codenamed “Operation Down FSPO”. Exact targets have not been confirmed. • The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (comprised of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Volunteers, Niger Delta Warriors and the Bakassi Strike Force) have issued a threat against multiple oil and gas installations. Demands include a 90-day ultimatum to the Nigerian government for the implementation of restructuring and resource control, return of oil blocks in the Niger Delta region to the Niger Delta people and relocation of oil and gas companies’ headquarters to the Niger Delta region. • Groups such as the 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta and Joint Revolutionary Council have also issued demands to the government for more development in the Niger Delta area and for greater protection from Fulani herdsmen in the region. As talks between factions have broken down, and militants have not received either payments as part of the amnesty, or Abuja has not met development demands in the region, the area will grow more restless. This will have a direct affect on oil and gas output, and likely on shipping as well. 4


Security Issues in West Africa • Troops in Equatorial Guinea shot dead “mercenaries” in the suppression of a reported attempted coup against President Teodoro Obiang.

West Africa Shipping News •

Nigerian may have lost 681,000 barrels per day between September and October 2017 due to shutdowns at Bonny, Qua Iboe, Bonga and Forcados terminals, leading to a loss of US$1.36 billion. This, combined with militant attacks meant that Nigerian failed to meet its 2017 oil production target.

20 vehicles and multiple bags of rice were destroyed in a fire at a Nigerian Customs Service warehouse in Lagos. A second fire at a tank fire caused on of the tanks filled with PMS to explode. Another fire at the container complex in Tin Can island led to over US$275,000 worth of damage. NPA has established an investigative committee to look into the causes of the fires.

Lekoil told investors that it has signed up a contractor for a new seismic programme at the Otakikpo field.

• Togo president Faure Gnassingbe has survived protests that have been taking place since mid-2017 and in his New Year address called for the opposition to accept dialogue to end the political crisis.

The Bonga and Zabazaba fields and the potential actions of militants in the Niger Delta are expected to have the biggest impact on Nigerian crude output in 2018.

• A 20-foot container loaded with military uniforms and weapons has gone missing from Apapa Port, Lagos. Clearing agent has been arrested.

Chevron Nigeria has been called to halt the employment of plant operators or face community shut down , as host communities have not been able to participate in the recruitment process.

Total’s Egina FPSO sailed in Lagos prior to moving to Egina oil field with the target of producing 108,000 barrels per day.

• Nigeria Customs Service intercepted 2,200 jerry cans of smuggled petrol over the last 2 months. Illegal refining of crude oil will likely continue due to the failure of the Nigerian government to provide solutions to the issue such as modular refineries.

Kaduna Inland Dry Port has been officially commissioned by President Buhari, the first of 7 proposed dry ports.

NNPC will make the decision on investors for the country’s 3 major refineries.

• A fire on the Escravos-Lagos pipeline caused half of the country to lose power.

• Cameroonian troops entered Nigeria to chase separatist rebels. Nigeria has deported several rebels back to the Cameroon authorities.

Nigerian lawmakers are looking to recoup US$21 billion from international oil companies, seeking to amend a law and enforce a provision for the government to take a greater share of oil sales.

• Rivers State governor has declared a list of 33 most wanted criminals and gang leaders, offering large bounties as a reward.

Nigeria has passed a major oil industry bill to increase transparency and stimulate growth in the industry, after 17 years of political deadlock.

Maritime Workers of Nigeria (MWUN) have suspended a planned strike which threatened to shutdown all seaports across the country on Monday 5th February if the government did not carry out emergency repairs to port roads.

• Nigerian House of Representatives has questioned NIMASA for awarding a maritime security contract worth US$195 million to an Israeli firm, calling it a security breach and also defies local content law. • Nigerian Navy is acquiring several small boats and helicopters in an attempt to combat the rising criminality in coastal areas of the country. NIMASA is also looking to procure fast intervention vessels. French shipyard Ocea is delivered two vessels, Gongola and Calabar at the end of January. The Nigerian Navy has admitted its operations lack the ability to meet the challenges it faces due to a lack of funding.

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Africa Risk Compliance - Editorial Recent Developments in Maritime Security in West Africa Over the last few months, there have been several changes in the maritime security environment in West Africa. The two biggest developments are the recent statement from Intertanko regarding Nigerian Navy armed guards, and the hijacking of two vessels in Benin waters. The Intertanko statement has stated that the Nigerian Navy has banned the embarkation of Nigerian Navy armed guards onto merchant vessels in Nigeria, and this has now been taken as policy by organisations such as BIMCO and some flag states. However, the Nigerian Navy have themselves not issued a corroborating statement regarding this matter. Furthermore, Nigerian Navy guards continue to be embarked on to merchant ships. This calls into question the statement from Intertanko, as it is highly unlikely that Nigerian Navy commanders are disobeying direct orders from their superiors. Whilst any statement from an organisation such as Intertanko should naturally be taken seriously, this has unfortunately had an effect on the shipping industry that operates in Nigerian waters, as the embarkation of guards was seen as both a cost effective and operationally effective security solution, with an armed team on a vessel for a week costing approximately the same as an escort vessel for a day. Whilst further transparency and regulation is required in the industry and steps toward it should be applauded, ultimately it is shipping that has suffered from the increase in cost of security at a time when the threat in the Gulf of Guinea is at a peak. With the hijack of the MT Barrett from south of Cotonou anchorage on the 9th/10th January, and the disappearance of the Marine Express on the 1st February from the southern edge of Cotonou anchorage, Nigeria-based pirates have demonstrated their capability to attack shipping at a significant distance from their likely bases in the Delta area of Nigeria. The hijackings in Benin waters are the first since 2012. It also demonstrates a possible change in modus operandi, as these attacks are possibly for the theft of the product cargo on-board, and not just the kidnap for ransom tactic that has been seen in Nigerian waters over the last two years. The outcome of the missing Marine Express will give further information on current tactics of pirates (if it is confirmed as a pirate attack); however, it should be noted that the hijack of a product tanker and siphoning of the fuel cargo is a far more complicated process than a kidnap for ransom case, requiring greater logistics, funding and planning. This therefore suggests pirates and criminals that benefit from this activity are operating with greater impunity in Nigeria, despite increased military activity in the area. It is far easier to hide a group of kidnapped seafarers than a merchant vessel.

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Africa Risk Compliance Limited are a specialist management and operations support company, providing security, intelligence, training and escort vessels to the shipping industry in the Gulf of Guinea. With over 2,500 maritime security operations in the region since 2012, our staff are the most experienced in the industry. In security, experience counts. If you have any questions on the information provided in this report, or wish to enquire about Africa Risk Compliance’s services, please contact: ARC Operations operations@arcafrica.com | +44 (0) 203 151 0170

Max Williams, Fleet Operations Director

m.williams@arcafrica.com | +44 (0) 203 151 0170 / +44 (0) 7342 698 555

The guidance and advice in reports issued by Africa Risk Compliance Limited is based on information received by sources at the time of issue. Africa Risk Compliance Limited shall not be held liable for any damages, costs or injuries that arise out of the provision of reports. Reports are intended only for Africa Risk Compliance Limited’s clients and members of subscription based services 7

Arc gulf of guinea update january 2018  
Arc gulf of guinea update january 2018  
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