The spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy force says Somali pirates have attacked a Kuwaiti-flagged oil tanker but failed to seize it.

Cmdr. John Harbour says the pirates attacked the 105,000-ton MV Album about 800 nautical miles east of the northern coast of Somalia.

Harbour says Wednesday's unsuccessful attack lasted for about 30 minutes and caused no damage to the ship.

Harbour could not provide further information.

Pirates have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms. They now hold more than 200 crew members and about a dozen vessels. Piracy has remained at high levels this year despite a growing number of international warships and extra safety precautions taken by merchant vessels.