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Decaying tanker near the Yemeni coast threatens "catastrophic explosion"



The decaying SAFER FSO tanker contains an estimated 1.1 million barrels of oil and has been moored and maintenance-free near the Yemeni port of Ras Isa for several years, according to the United Nations.

He said the Houthi authorities had this control The region "delayed" the assessment even though it asked the United Nations itself for help at the beginning of last year.

The tanker has been stranded since 2015 and could be extremely dangerous.

"Since the engines were not running, the inert gases pumped into the storage tanks to prevent the accumulation of explosive gases from the stored oil were not replenished, which is why there are worried about a catastrophic explosion." said Doug Weir, research and policy director of the British Conflict and Environment Observatory, to CNN.

The obsolete tanker had been converted to a floating storage platform before the Yemen war.

  The decaying SAFER FSO tanker measures 360 meters long and 70 meters wide.
Normally he would reload Yemeni oil from the port of Ras Isa to another tanker for shipping. However, the military conflict between the Houthi rebels and the government, supported by the Saudi coalition, has put an end to oil trade in the country and closed down pipelines and ports.

The cargo stuck aboard the ship could be worth more than $ 60 million based on current oil prices.

According to Houthi-led news agency Al-Masirah, the Houthi government has previously called for safeguards from UN that it would be able to sell oil extracted from the ship, which is currently impossible due to international sanctions.

Lowcock said that, depending on the season and water flow, an overflow of the tanker could reach from Bab el Mandeb to the Suez Canal and possibly to the Strait of Hormuz.

"I go you should imagine how such a disaster affects the environment, the shipping lanes and the global economy," he said in a speech to the Security Council.

Kristina Sgueglia of CNN contributed to this report.


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