FSO Safer, that has been described as a “floating time bomb”, moored in the Red Sea, is still waiting for a new vessel to remove its cargo of 1.1 million barrels of oil.
According to the UN, a deal between the UN and the Iran-backed Houthi group to transfer the oil to a new vessel has floundered. As UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq explains, the availability of very large crude oil tankers “has decreased in the past six months, basically due to events having to do with the war in Ukraine.”
However, donors have pledged more than $84 million of the funding required, and additional funding from the private sector is expected soon. As a matter of fact, Mr Haq told the AP that more than $73 million of pledges has been disbursed and essential preparatory work has started.
All of the technical expertise is in place to undertake the procurement for the complex operation
Nevertheless, he noted that “the UN cannot begin the emergency operation until it is certain that a safe crude carrier will be in place to take on the oil.”
For this reason, it is working with a maritime broker and other partners, aiming “to find a workable solution and remains confident the work can begin in the coming months”.
We remind, that the UN and Yemen’s Houthi rebels signed a memorandum of understanding in March aimed at resolving the environmental threat posed by FSO Safer to the Red Sea.
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