"There is an imminent risk of a huge amount of oil spilling due to leaks or an explosion," David Gressly, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said, urging all countries to provide funds to unload the oil as soon as possible. to another boat.
This unloading operation would begin in June and would involve the rental of a large oil tanker to store the barrels for a period of 18 months, while the transfer of crude oil to a final destination is prepared.
A possible oil spill in the Red Sea would be devastating for the Yemeni populations that depend on fishing and would force the temporary closure of ports essential for the entry of food and humanitarian aid into this country.
The Houthis’ piracy legitimizes targeting their ports
The Red Sea is one of the world's busiest maritime lanes that leads to the Suez Canal. Lately, the Iran-backed Houthi militia has been randomly deploying naval mines in its water, keeping the SAFER oil tanker a hostage... pic.twitter.com/npbH5M9Pzg
In addition, the cost of cleaning up an oil spill could reach US$20 billion, given that the amount of oil on board the Safer is four times greater than the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989.
Built in Japan in the 1970s, the Safer was sold to the Yemeni government in 1987 to be used to transport and store crude oil for export. Currently, it is anchored at 7 kilometers from the port of Ras Issa.
Since the civil war in Yemen broke out in 2014, this oil tanker has remained abandoned. It is feared that its oil could transform into flammable gas and explode, or that the hull could rupture and spill the oil into the sea. After years of negotiations, the United Nations reached an agreement with the Yemeni government and with the Houthi rebels to withdraw the oil.
Where is the outrage after Saudia Arabia continues to bomb Yemen, murdering thousands while millions are suffering from hunger and famine? pic.twitter.com/FvmaOFV54u