Oil has leaked from an oil tanker in the Red Sea near the Yemen coast, sources in SAFER Exploration & Production Operations Company revealed.
Discussions between the United Nations and the Houthi movement regarding the maintenance and emptying of the vessel were stalled “due to the Houthis’ intransigent stance”, the sources added.
Speaking to the UAE’s Al Bayan newspaper, they added: “An oil leak occurred in the reservoir anchored off Ras Isa port in the Red Sea, and a large quantity of water leaked into one of the 34 reservoir chambers, in which more than a million barrels of crude oil are stored.”
The same sources pointed out that a large oil spill had occurred in the vicinity of the reservoir, adding that “an online meeting between representatives of the Houthis and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) failed to reach an agreement on initiating the maintenance of the tanker.”
The sources confirmed that the Houthis insisted on restricting the agreement to carrying out maintenance works only without emptying the reservoir even though it would be impossible to fix the tank. The Houthis also refused to allow the vessel to arrive in Hudaydah port to be emptied.
The Safer oil tanker, which was built in Japan during the 1970s, is carrying 1.1 million barrels of crude oil, and has been anchored off the marine terminal of Ras Isa, on the shores of the Red Sea, since 2015.