Abandoned tanker may spout 4 times more oil than Exxon Valdez compared to official UN warnings

The United Nations environment chief said on Wednesday that “time is running out” to avoid an environmental, economic and humanitarian devastation, from a deteriorating oil tanker filled with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil, which is off the coast. Yemen. Ingar Anderson told the UN Security Council that an oil leak from FSO Safe, which has not been sustained for more than five years, would ruin ecosystems and livelihoods for decades.

“Preventing such a crisis from hunting is really the only option,” she said. “Despite the difficult operational context, no effort should be made to first technical evaluation and initial light repair.”

A handout satellite image, released on July 15, 2020, shows a close-up view of the FSO safe oil tanker from the port of Huddah
The image of a handout satellite released on July 15, 2020, June 17, 2020, shows a close-up view of the FSO safe oil tanker anchored from Yemen’s marine terminal.

Delivery form / Reuters

Anderson urged the international community that an oil spill should occur with a backlash. He said the tanker could release four times more oil from Alaska than the infamous Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

“Time is working in a coordinated manner for us to prevent environmental, economic and humanitarian destruction,” Anderson said.

The Houthi rebels, who control the area where the ship is moored, have denied UN inspectors access to the ship so that they can assess the damage, by unloading oil and dragging the ship to safety Look for ways to secure the tanker. But the rebels recently indicated that they would approve a UN mission to ship according to the United Nations

Internal documents obtained last month by the Associated Press indicate that seawater entered the engine compartment of the tanker, damaging the pipe and increasing the risk of drowning. Corrosion has covered parts of the tanker and inert gases that prevent the tanks from collecting flammable gases have leaked. Experts say maintenance is not possible as the loss to the ship is irreversible according to AP’s June 26 report.

In the image provided by the environmental group Holm Akhtar, part of a boiler system, part of a boiler system, is seen below deck on the FSO safe supertuner, permanently anchored off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea.

Handout / Holm Akhtar

The United Nations’ chief of humanitarian affairs, Mark Lovelock, said a leak in the tanker in May “brought us closer than ever to an environmental catastrophe.”

He expressed skepticism about last week’s Houthi proposal to allow the ship to a UN mission. He recalled that the Houthis announced a similar initiative in August, only to cancel it the night before the planned trip.

“Of course, we have lived here before,” he said, urging the rebels to take steps that would save their millions of citizens from another tragedy.

On Thursday, U.N. spokesman Stephen Dujarric told CBS News’ Pamela Falk: “We are working as fast as possible. But as you know, whether it is Yemen or any other country, the United Nations needs permission to work, so we have to go through there and wait. Wait for the correct permission. We are fully mobilized and we will move forward as soon as possible. “

“We’ve been flagging this issue for a long time to make sure it’s not on the back burner, but it’s on the front burner and everybody’s paying attention to it, but I assure you that our partners Working as soon as possible is possible, ”said Dujarik.

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels control Western Yemen’s Red Sea ports, including Ras Issa, 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) from where the FSO has been safe since the 1980s. They are at war with the internationally recognized government, supported by the Saudi-led coalition and the United States.

The Japanese-made tanker was sold to the Yemeni government in the 1980s, which was stored up to 3 million barrels from oil fields in Marib province before being exported. The ship is 360 meters (1,181 ft) long with 34 storage tanks.

In a tweet last month, the UK ambassador to Yemen compared a widely reported fuel leak in Russia.

“20,000 tons of fuel in Russia is causing massive environmental damage in Siberia. SAFER tanker in Yemen has 150,000 tons of crude oil that would devastate the Red Sea and its coast, if it leaked,” Ambassador Michael Aron Warned