Zirku: laden 105,846 dwt tanker hijacked
Zirku 105,846 dwt Kuwaiti Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company tanker Zirku to Singapore from Bashayer (Sudan) was 250 nautical miles South East of Salalah, a pirate gang fired machine guns and rocket propelled grenades at the 2003-built vessel in an initial 10 minute assault before backing down. They then returned with a more aggressive hit 15 minutes later, overcoming water cannons and passing over two rows of razor wire to get on board the ship. It took approximately 30 minutes for them to gain control of the vessel.
Ship Name: ZIRKU
Flag: United Arab Emirates
Nile Blend Crude Oil loaded at Marsa Bashayer, Sudan. This is a new crude oil from recently developed oil fields in Sudan. The shipment of this grade by sea only started in September 1999 and its nature and the difficulties arising during its transportation are not widely known.
Nile Blend Crude Oil is a paraffinic crude oil with a high wax content, high pour point (+30°C to +36°C) and high wax appearance temperature (+39°C and above). The wax appearance temperature (WAT) or cloud point is the temperature at which waxy solids form by precipitation in the crude oil. At or below the WAT waxy solids will precipitate or settle out onto the tank bottoms and horizontal structural members. Once wax deposition occurs heating alone will not normally place the deposited wax back into suspension within the main body of the cargo.