More than 1.1 million barrels of oil were transferred from the floating storage and offloading unit FSO Safer to a new tanker, the Yemen, on August 11, 2023.
preceded by a great deal of work to check and stabilize the Safer and its cargo. Under the UN proposal, the marine salvage business SMIT, a subsidiary of Boskalis, was engaged to check and prepare the FSO Safer for the transfer of oil from ship to ship.ccording to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the transfer was
About the FSO Safer
The FSO SAFER is an offshore floating storage vessel, one of the largest ever built, used to export crude oil, that has been in place since the 1980s. The FSO has not been maintained since 2015 because of the conflict in Yemen, and it had decayed to the point where there was a major risk of it exploding or breaking apart, which would have disastrous environmental and humanitarian effects on the region.
I am very pleased that we have succeeded in removing the oil from the FSO Safer and transferring it to a modern double hulled tanker. With our salvage activities, we have once again averted a potential environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions.
… said Peter Berdowski, CEO, Boskalis
The next essential phase, according to IMO, will be the installation of a mooring point attached to the pipeline, to which the MOST Yemen may then be safely anchored. The goal is to finish this work by September, when the weather in the area is likely to worsen. Negotiations to settle legal difficulties relating to the safe recycling of the FSO Safer and the future sale of its oil continue.
However, this is a significant accomplishment because the UN and IMO have been attempting to remove the oil for years. Due to worldwide cooperation, a potentially enormous environmental catastrophe has been averted.
Additional funds are still needed to cover the emergency phase of the salvage operation’s US$142 million cost, according to the IMO. The second phase of the project will cost an additional US$19 million and will include the removal and safe recycling of the FSO Safer.