| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Transfer of 1.1 mln barrels of oil from decaying Yemen tanker to start early next week: UN

On Monday, the United Nations announced that a ship-to-ship transfer of more than one million barrels of crude oil from a deteriorating vessel near the conflict-ridden coast of Yemen will commence in the upcoming week. This operation aims to prevent a significant oil spillage.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen David Gressly told the Security Council that the Sana’a authorities provided authorization today for the oil transfer from the FSO Safer to the replacement vessel.

“The replacement vessel Nautica is preparing to sail from Djibouti. It will moor alongside the Safer and should begin taking on the oil by early next week,” Gressly said. “Once the transfer starts, it will take about two weeks”.

“The completion of the ship-to-ship transfer of the oil will be a moment when the whole world can heave a sigh of relief. The worst-case humanitarian, environmental and economic catastrophe from a massive oil spill will have been prevented,” he said.

Gressly said that it will not be the end of the operation and the next critical step after the oil transfer will include the delivery and installment of a catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM) buoy to which the replacement vessel will safely be installed.

The FSO Safer oil tanker is a floating storage and offloading unit, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the port of Hudaydah. It is used for storing and exporting oil coming from oilfields in the oil-rich central province of Marib.

Now under the control of Houthi rebels, the tanker has not undergone maintenance since 2015 and more than 1 million barrels of crude oil have been sitting in the decaying vessel in the Red Sea.

A major spill would devastate fishing communities on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, likely instantly wiping out 200,000 livelihoods, according to the UNDP.

The cost of a cleanup of a potential oil spill alone is estimated at $20 billion.

  • Anadolu Agency