Group warns of potential catastrophe on old tanker off Yemen


Originally posted on A.P News on the 27th of january 2022

CAIRO (AP) — A leading environmental group warned Thursday of a potential major oil leak or explosion on an aging oil tanker moored off of Yemen’s Red Sea coast. The neglected vessel is loaded with more than a million barrels of crude oil.

Greenpeace released a report listing the environmental, humanitarian and economic impacts of a potential oil spill from the FSO Safer on conflict-riddled Yemen and the Red Sea region in general.

“The event could be one of the biggest oil spill disasters in history and would cause widespread severe environmental damage and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the country,” the group said in its report.

The rusting, neglected Japanese-built tanker has been moored in its location 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) away from Yemen’s western Red Sea port of Ras Issa since the 1980s, when it was sold to the Yemeni government. Prior to the escalation of Yemen’s conflict in 2015, the vessel was used to store and export oil from fields in eastern Marib province.

The 42-page Greenpeace report argues that an oil spill or explosion on the tanker would lead to the closure of desalination plants in Yemen, which will eventually disrupt the supply of drinking water to nearly 10 million people.

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