Piracy in Cameroon has cut off some oil production, causing worries about future investments from overseas oil companies.See also this VOA report:
The African country has recently been embroiled in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which has led to insecurity in the oil industry.
As much as 95 percent of Cameroon's oil comes from a basin in the Gulf of Guinea, where attacks on commercial shipping have made the area increasingly dangerous.
Seven Chinese fishermen were kidnapped last month and a Nigerian boat was hijacked off the coast of Cameroon.
On each occasion, pirates demanded more than $1 million to release the ships.
Crude oil production in Cameroon has gone down to average just over 73,000 barrels a day with spending in the oil sector dropping by more than one-third.
Gilpin says piracy threatens the profitability of new oil exploration off Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria's Niger Delta. The interest in new sources of oil will always be there, but Gilpin says it is the quality of investment that will suffer.
"You are less likely to see oil majors who have the capacity and the deep-pockets for the sort of exploration that will be required go in first," he said. "You are more likely to see smaller concerns go in and test the waters. And what this does it costs the countries because when the oil majors come in later, the beneficiaries are the smaller companies that took the risk to go in in the first place, not the countries."
Gilpin says very few countries in the Gulf of Guinea have addressed what he calls vast gaps in maritime security from Nigeria to Angola. Pirate groups that withdrew after increased security in 2000 are now reemerging. But unlike the more-publicized piracy off the coast of Somalia, Gulf of Guinea pirates are less organized.