Supertanker snatched with $100m of oil

Pirates who hijacked an supertanker yesterday have begun to negotiate with the vessel’s owners and have taken the ship towards the Somali pirate haven of Eyl, the US Navy has said.

The Saudi-owned Sirius Star, which was carrying two million barrels of oil, valued at $100 million, was captured with its multi-national crew, including two Britons, 450 miles off the coast of Kenya on Sunday.

It remains under the control of pirates, a spokeswoman for the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said. However crew members are “remaining safe”, according to the ship’s operating company Vela International.

The 318,000-tonne tanker, three times the size of an aircraft carrier, is not only the largest ship yet to be hijacked by increasingly audacious pirates, but the furthest out to sea than any previous attacks.