West Africa’s light, sweet crude is easier and cheaper to refine than Middle Eastern oil. It is also located off-shore, which means lower transport costs and reduced risk of loss from civil unrest, theft, corruption and political upheaval. To meet increasing demand for this valuable commodity, the nations of West Africa have undertaken to double production over the next decade.
Global pirate activity declined in February from January due to a fall in attacks in southeast Asia, but attacks off West Africa doubled, shipping and marine services company GAC said Tuesday.Incidents of piracy in February dropped to 36 from 46 in January but there continued to be attacks in the pirate-ridden areas of Somalia and West Africa, GAC said in its monthly piracy intelligence report.
Shippers are on the alert as instability in Nigeria threatens to worsen an already serious problem with piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, a key trade route for commodities such as crude oil and cocoa. “The risks off Nigeria are increasing because of an increase in militancy in the Delta region,” said Rory Lamrock, a maritime analyst at AKE Group, a risk consultancy.