Greek-operated tanker goes missing in Gulf of Guinea

ATHENS, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The Greek manager of aBahamas-flagged tanker carrying more than 32,000 metric tonnesof gasoline reported the vessel missing on Monday after it leftAbidjan in the Ivory Coast unexpectedly in the early hours ofSaturday.

The tanker Orfeas, crewed by two Greeks and 22 Filipinos,had been expected to discharge its cargo at Abidjan. However,Grace Management said in a statement that the vessel instead"sailed south without orders or explanation".

"The managers have been trying to contact Orfeascontinuously, unfortunately without result," Grace Managementsaid. "Her last known position indicates she may be goingtowards Lagos, Nigeria."

The incident could be the latest in a spate of attacks onshipping in the Gulf of Guinea.

In August pirates attacked a Greek-operated oil tanker witha crew of about 20 off the coast of Togo. They released the shipa few days later after stealing 3,000 tonnes of fuel.

Grace Management said that it has requested assistance fromall relevant authorities and neighboring countries.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by David Goodman)

((renee.maltezou@thomsonreuters.com)(+30 210 3376439)(ReutersMessaging: renee.maltezou.reuters.com@reuters.net))