The Ship That Became A Bomb - broken down Supertanker in Yemeni waters

Yokel

LE
Stranded in Yemen’s war zone, a decaying supertanker has more than a million barrels of oil aboard. If—or when—it explodes or sinks, thousands may die.

Soon, a vast, decrepit oil tanker in the Red Sea will likely sink, catch fire, or explode. The vessel, the F.S.O. Safer—pronounced “Saffer”—is named for a patch of desert near the city of Marib, in central Yemen, where the country’s first reserves of crude oil were discovered. In 1987, the Safer was redesigned as a floating storage-and-off-loading facility, or F.S.O., becoming the terminus of a pipeline that began at the Marib oil fields and proceeded westward, across mountains and five miles of seafloor. The ship has been moored there ever since, and recently it has degraded to the verge of collapse. More than a million barrels of oil are currently stored in its tanks. The Exxon Valdez spilled about a quarter of that volume when it ran aground in Alaska, in 1989.
 
"Insha'Allah....."
More like "the will of Western sanctions against the Houthis". This was discussed on the Yemen thread at least a year ago and not much has changed since.

The Houthis have possession of the storage tanker and want to sell the oil but are not being allowed to because they are not recognized as the legitimate government. The Saudi-backed government want the money from selling the oil but don't have possession of the tanker. So it's a stalemate.
 
Send Grete, they will listen to her.

SK
 
I had a look on Google Earth all you can see is this…..
94832B0A-B8C4-4BC0-A6E9-52C8F52FDA82.png
Tried getting bigger/closer still the same image. So is it a blue blob?
 
More like "the will of Western sanctions against the Houthis". This was discussed on the Yemen thread at least a year ago and not much has changed since.

The Houthis have possession of the storage tanker and want to sell the oil but are not being allowed to because they are not recognized as the legitimate government. The Saudi-backed government want the money from selling the oil but don't have possession of the tanker. So it's a stalemate.
Nothing of course stopping them from repairs or getting power to the hulk except typical houthi competence...
 
Nothing of course stopping them from repairs or getting power to the hulk except typical houthi competence...
It sounds like it would be a major job to overhaul it, and to do that they would first have to empty out the tanks, which means selling the oil, which isn't happening because of sanctions and the war.

It was an old tanker bought as a floating storage tank. Under normal circumstances it would probably be most economical to scrap it and replace it with another. The real issue is that it's a bit of temporary infrastructure with a finite life caught up in a long running war.

Personally I'm not going to lose much sleep over it. It will be a tragedy if the oil spills all over the Red Sea and no doubt quite a few fishermen are going to be screwed, but this is a war in which a lot worse than that is happening on a daily basis but isn't in the news because it's safely out of sight of the news media.
 

Yokel

LE
It sounds like it would be a major job to overhaul it, and to do that they would first have to empty out the tanks, which means selling the oil, which isn't happening because of sanctions and the war.

It was an old tanker bought as a floating storage tank. Under normal circumstances it would probably be most economical to scrap it and replace it with another. The real issue is that it's a bit of temporary infrastructure with a finite life caught up in a long running war.

Personally I'm not going to lose much sleep over it. It will be a tragedy if the oil spills all over the Red Sea and no doubt quite a few fishermen are going to be screwed, but this is a war in which a lot worse than that is happening on a daily basis but isn't in the news because it's safely out of sight of the news media.

Hard to disagree with that. It seems a shame that a third party cannot do a salvage job and tow the tanker to safety, because of the danger to international shipping and the risk of environmental catastrophe and knock on problems such as knocking out desalination plants.
 
Hard to disagree with that. It seems a shame that a third party cannot do a salvage job and tow the tanker to safety, because of the danger to international shipping and the risk of environmental catastrophe and knock on problems such as knocking out desalination plants.
If we're going to do some wishing here, we may as well wish for the end of the war, or at the very least the end of outside involvement there.
 
From Lloyd' List:

London, Oct 11 -- A press report, dated today, states: Floating storage tanker Safer: An oil spill involving a deteriorating tanker moored off the coast of Yemen could potentially disrupt food and water supplies for millions of people in the conflict-ridden country, as well as further afield, in an environmental catastrophe that would be felt across the region. A team of researchers from Stanford University, Harvard University, and UC Berkeley released the findings of their models on the impact of an oil spill from the FSO Safer in a paper published today in the Nature Sustainability journal. The researchers stressed urgent action was required to stop a “looming disaster” that would affect an estimated nine million people who would be without drinking water and shut down Yemen’s main ports, thereby worsening the country’s humanitarian crisis. About 68 percent of humanitarian aid to Yemen enters through the ports of Hodeidah and Salif, which lie near to the stricken Safer, and more than half of Yemen’s population depends on humanitarian aid. Reportedly, the spill and its potentially disastrous impacts remain entirely preventable through offloading the oil. The area of the Red Sea that would be affected by any oil spill is also home to several desalination plants that provide clean drinking water for people, including in Saudi Arabia and Eritrea, and fisheries that provide an income to millions of Yemenis. Away from the coast, the researchers modeled the potential for air pollution to spread following a spill and found it could reach central and northern parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, increasing the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory health issues.
 
Things not looking to rosy for the Red Sea. From Lloyd's this morning:

London, Oct 14 -- A press report, dated Oct 13, states: Floating storage tanker Safer: For four years, the tanker has been rotting in the Red Sea. The condition of the abandoned tanker is constantly deteriorating, which increases the risks of the ship’s cargo leaking into the sea. Safer is loaded with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil. Experts have long sounded the alarm about the consequences of a possible spill in the Red Sea, but now it turns out that the extent could be worse than initially thought. A recent report states that the leak from the vessel will leave eight million people in the area without water. At the same time, the entire Yemeni commercial fish stock can be eliminated in just three weeks, according to Nature Sustainability. The consequences will not only affect Yemen. Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, and Djibouti will also be affected by what may be one of the worst environmental disasters in modern times. The United Nations has been trying for a long time to get rid of the dangerous cargo, but so far to no avail. The area is controlled by the rebels, and despite frequent talks between the rebels, the United Nations, and the Yemeni authorities, the United Nations has not been granted permission to board the ship. The rebels demand a guarantee of repair of the tanker, but the United Nations does not currently have the funds to implement this. The potential leak will likely result in more central coastal cities in Yemen, such as Saleef and Al Hudaydah, having to close their ports. This, in turn, could lead to a national fuel crisis in the country, with prices expected to rise by as much as 80 percent. Nature Sustainability indicates that even if half of the oil spill evaporates within a day, the remaining quantities will reach the Yemeni coast within a week. This, in turn, will result in several million people suffering from food shortages, in one of the countries that are already home to one of the most serious famines in the world. The possibility of leakage is constantly increasing. Nature Sustainability warns that Safer has no double hull, meaning any spills will flow directly into the sea. The report notes that several factors could cause a leak on the increasingly malfunctioning tanker, and it asks the United Nations to act before it is too late.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
If they block off the red sea at Suez and when the oil pops to the surface, ignite it and let it burn out. Job jobbed. :cool:
Was tried with the Torrey Canyon in 1967.

Torrey Canyon was bombed by a flight of Buccaneers with 1,000 pdrs in order to attempt to ignite & burn off the oil, then by Hunters dropping bombs and Kero, then by Sea Vixens then by Buccs again. Oil on the sea doesn't burn very well.

It did little to reduce the pollution.

If this does go off then there will be millions of refugees all looking to come to Europe and the better part of the Yemeni coast will be more or less uninhabitable for 10 or more years until the pollution is dispersed and the sea life starts to recover. Yemen is heavily reliant on fish as a staple food.

Then it will also clog up desalination plants along the other side of the Red Sea potentially wiping out the fresh water supply to millions of Arabs. Desalination plants cannot work with oily water as it clogs up the reverse osmosis membranes.

I read the article some days ago and it will make Exxon Valdez look like a Jerrycan of Derv in a swimming pool.

Houthis are madder than a well shaken bucket of frogs and may well end up fvcking themselves up.
 
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