(OILPRICE) — Militant groups in the Sahel want kidnapping victims for ransom, or South American cocaine for smuggling, but Gulf of Guinea pirates just want oil.

Western oil and gas companies operating in North and West Africa should be on high alert because their personnel just became much more valuable kidnapping victims whose ransoms will have gone up since the French intervention in Mali.

This is how it works with militant organized crime groups on land, across the Sahel, but on the high seas, things work differently. Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are no longer trading in people, they’re trading in oil.

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