The U.S. Navy says pirates who seized a Saudi-owned oil supertanker are taking the ship to a Somali port where hijacked vessels are often held.
Navy spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen of the U.S. 5th Fleet says the pirates holding the MV Sirius Star are "nearing an anchorage point" of the town of Eyl. The port has become a haven for pirates and a number of other ships are still being held there. Sirius Star has been freed, some say. The VLCC is three times the size of a U.S. aircraft carrier. The vessel had been headed for the United States via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. The Saudi Aramco VLCC MV Sirius Star is one of six very large tankers owned by Vela International Marine and built in South Korea, and registered in Liberia. Vela International Marine Limited is one of the largest crude oil tanker companies in the world and is a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). Vela currently owns and operates a modern fleet of 19 Very Large Crude Oil Carriers (VLCCs) and five product tankers of various sizes and also serves as charterer for all of Saudi Aramco"s CIF and ex-ship crude oil and product deliveries worldwide.
Vela’s owned and chartered VLCCs conduct trade primarily between the Middle East, Europe and the United States Gulf Coast. Vela"s owned and chartered product tankers operate exclusively in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coastal trade. Vela is committed to continue building and operating the most modern, high-quality tankers in the world.
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