Monday, November 17, 2008

Oil tanker hijacked by pirates off Africa

An oil tanker travelling close to the east coast of Africa has been boarded by pirates who have taken control of the vessel. The US Navy has described the ship as a very large Saudi crude vessel and named it as the Sirius Star. There are believed to be 25 crew members on board and the Foreign Office have said that two British nationals were on the ship. Other nationals said to be on board are crew members from Croatia, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Tim Marshall, International Correspondent for Sky News, said that the exact details as to who the pirates are may not emerge for the next few days. The tanker was seized 450 nautical miles south-east of the Kenyan port of Mombasa in the Arabian Sea according to the BBC, though their website was later updated to show the correct location as the Indian Ocean [BBC / Sky News].

David McKenzie, a CNN correspondent, said that the US Navy had told him the super tanker, with a 300,000 metric tonne capacity, had been hijacked in the last two days by Somali pirates. The interruption to the flow of oil if such hijackings continue will be of great concern not only to oil producers, but also to security analysts.

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