All of the crude oil on decaying tanker FSO Safer has now been transferred to crude oil carrier Nautica / Yemen.
The UN said on Friday August 11th that it had completed the removal of the roughly 1.1m barrels of crude that had been on the Safer for a decade or so (it had been moored off Yemen since the 1990s), with the vessel not being maintained for the past eight years.
The Houthi rebels have retained their claim to ownership of the oil, which will now be stored on the Nautica / Yemen. The Safer will eventually be towed away for scrap.
“It is a major moment of having averted a potentially catastrophic disaster,” said Achim Steiner, administrator of the U.N. Development Programme, which coordinated complex efforts to remove the oil from the ship.
There is no agreement on how the oil will be sold or who will benefit therefrom. UN officials in Yemen will soon begin negotiations with the country’s conflicting groups in an attempt to agree on how to share the proceeds of a sale of the oil, which legally is majority owned by Yemeni state firm SEPOC.