02 July 2020 0220-0300 UTC
30nm SW Bonny Island
349m x 51m
It is assessed that this attack is unique within the wider realm of off shore incidents within West Africa. Both the manner of attack and target are beyond the usual targeting and attack methodology of pirate action groups within Nigeria. The incident is reported to have involved three vessels, with one vessel being used as a decoy to distract the security vessel HUDSON CAPT ELEDU. It is likely that there was only one security vessel in the vicinity of the FPSO. The two remaining vessels approached the FPSO and are understood to have boarded the vessel by attaching a hooked ladder onto the half way hoisted gangway. Further reports indicated that explosives were used during the attack. Whilst unable to be verified, the use of such weapons (particularly grenades and RPG’s) has thus far not been seen in wider piracy reporting in West Africa and has more in common with attacks perpetuated by militants.
Within recent weeks a number of militant groupings within the Niger Delta have released statements condemning the actions of the federal government with a group operating under the auspices of the Coalition of the Niger Delta Agitators has publicly withdrawn its ceasefire that it previously negotiated with the federal government.
The kidnap of foreign personnel by groups involved in militancy is not unusual for the Niger Delta however is less common in the offshore domain. It remains highly likely that personnel will be held for ransom however if confirmed as an act of militancy negotiations are likely to also focus on political concessions tied into both the release of personnel and cessation of activity.
Dryad will update accordingly.