Tanker firm worried by Somali piracy

25-11-2008

Tanker firm worried by Somali piracy
The world's largest oil tanker company is considering abandoning its Gulf of Aden route following the recent upsurge in piracy there.

Last weekend the Sirius Star supertanker was hijacked in Somali-based pirates' most audacious attack yet against international shipping in the area.

The number of pirate hijackings in 2008 may hit 100 before the end of the year and Frontline, which operates 80 tankers, is now considering diverting its ships away from the Horn of Africa region.

Its acting chief executive officer Martin Jensen told the AFP news agency that it would implement the move "if there's no quick international force or situation applied".

"It doesn't solve anything by diverting," he added, calling for an increased naval presence in the area.

He described this as the "only solution" to the current crisis and hopes that the southern route around Africa, which is 40 per cent longer, does not have to actually be considered.

"That would be quite a cost," Mr Jensen added.

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