Due to the increase in offshore pirate activity, the Joint War Committee have extended the High-Risk Area as far South as Port Gentile in Gabon. Currently this will affect vessels insurance premiums, Security Escort Vessels are still limited within the Nigerian EEZ.
Last three months the trend is for attacks on vessels taking place in an arch 80-200nm wide from the mouth of the Forcados River. Careful planning when approaching the area needs to be undertaken.
The area of the Indian Ocean where ships need to be on their guard remains extensive. The military assessment is that although the pirate infrastructure remains in place, their appetite to take ships is reduced. Iran and Saudi Arabia are effectively in a proxy conflict.
There have been several cruise missile attacks on vessels in the Bab el Mandeb. Foreign vessels are currently forbidden from entering Yemeni waters. Yemen does not have an effective navy of their own, so the Egyptian and Saudi navies have been mandated to enforce this. There are entry procedures for vessels to enter Hodeidah or Saleef port - a completed form must be sent to the Yemen Ministry of Transport, now based in Jeddah.
The system works but needs much effort from concerned parties - there may be some vessels which the coalition will decline to authorise. Multinational naval units, aircraft and personnel will be operating under the Turkish led CTF 151 (Counter Piracy), between 1 and 7 October 2020, in areas off the Somali Coast, Socotra Gap and in the vicinity of the IRTC
NOC reiterates its call for all oil facilities to be freed from military occupation to ensure the security and safety of its workers. Once this has been done, NOC should be able to lift force majeure and re-commence oil export operations. Still waiting for confirmation on this. However, meantime , according to information received from our local correspondents in Libya, the situation in the Libyan oil export terminals that were placed under force majeure by Libya’s National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) in January 2020 remains unchanged. The port situation in Libya as at 28th September 2020 is reported to be as follows:
Working: Farwah, Bouri, Melittah, Zawia, Tripoli, Al Khoms, Misurata, Marsa El Brega (only non-oil cargoes), Benghazi and Tobruk
Under force majeure by NOC: Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Marsa El Brega, Zueitina and Marsa El Hariga
Closed: Sirte and Derna
YEMEN - PORT SITUATION
While there have been no recent changes to the status of Yemeni ports, port authorities are now implementing strict quarantine and control measures to prevent the spread of COVID19.
According to information received from our correspondent Gulf Agency Co. (Yemen) Ltd. (GAC), the port situation in Yemen as at 30 July 2020 is as follows:
Working: Aden, Rudhum Oil Exporting Terminal, Mukalla, Ash Shihr Oil Exporting Terminal, Nishtun, Saleef and Hodeidah
Closed: Mokha, Ras Isa Marine Terminal (Safer), Ras Isa Petroleum Products Reception Facility and Balhaf LNG Terminal
BEIRUT - PORT SITUATION
Following the initial closure of the port of Beirut after the recent explosion, some container operations have now resumed where vessels have been allowed to discharge their cargo at the local container terminal.
Ships transiting the Singapore Strait should remain vigilant and maintain an adequate antipiracy watch as the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Strait with 67 incidents 2020 YTD, 22 in the last 3 months.
**EXTENTSION OF THE JWC HRA GOG *** 21st September 2020 The Joint War Committee has recently reviewed the Listed Areas, and has agreed the following changes which are incorporated in the new list as attached. Amended: Gulf of Guinea The waters enclosed by the following boundaries: a) On the west, from the coast of Togo 6° 06′ 45″ N, 1°12′E, south to b) high seas point 0° 40′ S, 3° 00′ E c) and then east to Cape Lopez Peninsula, Gabon 0°40′S, 8° 42′E.
RECENT INCIDENTS– Reported to IMB / MDAT-GOG On the 22nd September 2020 at 0851UTC, the tanker HAFNIA PHOENIX, approx. 60nm South of Takoradi , was approached by one skiff with 8 POB at 0.5NM. The captain and crew proceeded with evasive manoeuvres and the skiff stopped its approach. Crew and ship were reported safe.
Contact us today (remember to mention ASKET) to discussing performing Due Diligence and Risk Assessments for any High-Risk Area to ensure peace of mind for your fleet and to discuss possible mitigations or further information on regions or port calls. These are produced by experienced Maritime Operations Officers who have experience of sailing in the region as well as commercial and technical operations of vessels in the regions and understand your and your charterers requirements.
Capt David Lockwood
Merlin Global Maritime
Merlin Global Maritime; please quote ASKET