GAO Issued Important Maritime Security Report in Late 2007

GAO reminds maritime security colleagues that a possibly overlooked but nevertheless valuable guide to preventing and responding to terrorist attacks on energy commodity tankers is still available.

Given the recent events in the Gulf of Aden -- specifically the recent incident where Somali pirates have hijacked a large Saudi Arabian oil tanker – Stephen L. Caldwell, the GAO’s Director of Maritime Security Issues, wanted to make sure that industry colleagues were aware of the GAO’s report from last year on the security of oil tankers. The report, entitled, Maritime Security: Federal Efforts Needed to Address Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Terrorist Attacks on Energy Commodity Tankers (GAO-08-141), did not get a great deal of attention when it was released last year, just before the holidays

The document is the public version of a classified report. While the report's recommendations are focused on protection issues at domestic USA ports, there are several sections that maritime executives might find useful. Specifically: pp.11-19 provides background on tankers and commodities and sea routes; pp. 19-23 on vulnerabilities; pp. 23-29 on threats; pp. 29-36 on consequences of attacks; pp. 36-42 on protective measures with pp.40-42 having some specifics on Somali pirates and the Gulf of Aden; and pp.89 an appendix on recent high-profile attacks against oil tankers.

Direct any questions to Caldwell or his co-director on this report, Mark Gaffigan (202) 512-3168 in the Natural Resources and Environment Team. Contact Caldwell at: (202) 512-9610.