Operation Stop the Red Sea Oil Spill is not Sure Thing
The war in Yemen has suspended the maintenance operations of the FSO Safer and her structural integrity has deteriorated significantly. For years, UN officials have warned that the Red Sea and Yemen’s coastline are at risk.
The FSO Safer could spill four times as much oil as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska. Cleaning up such an oil spill could cost $20 billion.
Yet the UN is struggling to raise the $129 million needed to remove the oil from the FSO Safer and transfer it to a tanker, the Nautica, purchased for $55 million.
On Thursday 4 May, a UN-organised event failed to raise $19 million, the funds needed for the critical second phase of the operation “Stop the Red Sea Oil Spill”operation.
The rescue operation cannot be funded by selling the oil, as it is not clear who owns it, the UN said.