QatarGas says armed guards on all tankers

Company's chief operating officer says no attacks yet but move is to prevent piracy
QatarGas says armed guards on all tankers
Pirate attacks cost the global economy up to $12bn a year
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 16 Apr 2012 06:55 PM

All of Qatar Liquefied Gas Co’s tankers have armed guards on board to prevent piracy, Alaa Abu Jbara, the company’s chief operating officer, said on Monday.

No QatarGas ships have been attacked so far and the rhythm of attacks by pirates on shipping in the Gulf region is slowing down, he said at the Flame conference in Amsterdam, Bloomberg reported.

Gulf concerns including threats to shut shipping lanes, persistent piracy and volatile oil prices need a global response, the UAE's economy minister said earlier this month.

Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri also called for more cooperation on fighting piracy and said merchant shipping was likely to be hit by current oil price fluctuations.

Many of the world's naval forces, mostly from oil-consuming countries including China and the United States, have been working to protect shipping in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden from gangs of Somali pirates.

The international counter-piracy effort - covering an area of ocean four times the size of the Arabian peninsula - has helped sharply reduce the number of successful hijackings in the last few months, NATO said this month.

Shipping accounts for 80 percent of global trade, and sea-borne trade volumes have quadrupled over the last four decades.

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