Pirates Up the Ante with Supertanker's Capture

The Somali hijack of a ship carrying $100 million worth of crude imperils all Gulf oil shipments to the West. So insurance rates will rise
Saudi-owned crude oil supertanker Sirius Star during its naming ceremony in South Korea on June 18, 2008. REUTERS/Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering /Landov

The weekend seizure of a Saudi supertanker called the Sirius Star off Africa's east coast marks a costly and potentially dangerous new development in the escalating wave of pirate attacks against shipping in the waters off Somalia. The pirates are said to have seized the vessel some 420 nautical miles offshore, about 100 miles farther out to sea from previous attacks. They have also managed to grab a huge, very valuable ship belonging to the world's most important oil exporter.

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