FSO Safer - A Real Environmental Threat
A time bomb is ticking away at the foot of the Red sea, where over a million barrels of crude oil will very soon leak into its waters from a semi-abandoned tanker, wreaking an unprecedented ecological catastrophe. The world needs to act now!
Conversion to its new role took place in 1987 and by 1988 it was stationed at Ras Isa. That's thirty three years of sitting in seawater in a location with a particularly high salinity rating and, for the last five or six years since the onset of the civil war, it has received little or no maintenance. The Safer's physical condition is deteriorating rapidly and there have already been breaches to its engine compartment, though thankfully not yet to its tanks, which currently hold 1.148 million barrels of crude oil, or approximately 157,000 tonnes. For comparison, the Exxon Valdez was merely carrying around 35,000 tonnes when it met with disaster. Originally, the Safer was owned by the Yemeni government before it was seized by Houthi rebels in March 2015.
Though all involved recognise the imminent danger, central to the impasse as ever, is money. Those 1.148 million barrels of oil are worth just shy of fifty million dollars at current market prices, and that's a sizeable chunk of money that the Houthis are laying sole claim to. And while they are receiving no guarantees over money, they are not permitting UN access to the vessel. In addition, they are dropping very strong hints that they have mined the waters around it and rigged it internally with IEDs.
Carlos Luxul's novel, The Ocean Dove, focuses on danger arising from abuses of shipping's loose regulatory framework. Thankfully it's a novel but the FSO Safer disaster is about to happen and the world possesses the power to stop it. What it lacks is the will. Read the full story: https://splash247.com/