Pirates Attack Oil Production Vessel Off Nigeria, Kidnap Nine


Pirates attacked an oil production vessel off Nigeria in the early hours of Thursday and kidnapped nine Nigerian nationals, the ship’s owner BW Offshore said.

The vessel, a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) that can produce about 50,000 barrels per day, was working at the Okwori oilfield operated by Addax Petroleum, a part of China’s Sinopec Group.

Okwori oil field is operated under Oil Mining Licence (OML) 126.

The Sendje Berge ship was undergoing maintenance when the attack happened, BW Offshore’s Chief Financial Officer Staale Andreassen told Reuters.

The Oslo-listed company said none of the people remaining on the vessel were injured.

“We are working now with the Nigerian authorities to get those nine people safely back,” Andreassen added.

A maritime security firm Dryad Global, citing unidentified reports, said the attack on the 349 meters-long FPSO on Thursday involved three boats and explosives, making it unusual.

Andreassen said he could not confirm that a number of boats had been involved, but denied that explosives were used during the attack.

The BW Offshore in a statement said: “On 2 July 2020, at approximately 4:20 am local time, BW Offshore’s FPSO Sendje Berge was subject to an attack by pirates offshore Nigeria in which nine Nigerian nationals were kidnapped.”

“The incident onboard the FPSO has ended and none of those remaining onboard have suffered physical injuries. BW Offshore is cooperating with local authorities, represented on site by the Nigerian Navy…BW Offshore expects to provide further updates as more information becomes available.”