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'Risk is high': ship arrives to pump oil from Yemen tanker

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 17 2023 · 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Energy · Oil & Gas

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🗞️ Driving the news: Amidst tense diplomatic circumstances, the Nautica, a vessel bought by the United Nations for the operation, has entered Yemeni waters to begin the risky transfer of 1.14 million barrels of Marib light crude from the FSO Safer, a deteriorating super-tanker in the Red Sea

🔭 The context: The Safer has been a source of international concern for years 
• Maintenance operations on the Safer were suspended in 2015 due to Yemen's ongoing war, and the UNDP has continually warned of the potential catastrophic outcomes

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: A potential oil spill could result in an ecological disaster, devastate Yemeni fishing communities, and close critical ports and desalination plants
• It could also impact Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia, and would potentially cost over $20 billion to clean up

⏭️ What's next: Despite the high risk, UN officials expect the oil transfer from the Safer to the Nautica to take about three weeks
• After the transfer, the Nautica will remain in the area while the question of who owns the oil continues to be negotiated by the conflicting Yemeni factions

💬 One quote: "The risk is high. The risk is very high,"(Mohammed Mudawi, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) project manager for the ship Safer)

📈 One stat: The 47-year-old Safer, moored off Yemen's coast since the 1980s, carries four times as much oil as was spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, emphasizing the magnitude of the potential disaster

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