FSO Safer at risk in the Red Sea, Yemen

Sentinel-1 CSAR IW acquired on 06 October 2014 at 02:58:54 UTC
Sentinel-1 CSAR IW acquired on 11 October 2020 from 15:18:56 to 15:19:21 UTC
Sentinel-2 MSI acquired on 16 November 2020 at 07:32:01 UTC
Author(s): Sentinel Vision team, VisioTerra, France - svp@visioterra.fr
Keyword(s): Coastal, pollution, marine environment, oil and gas, oil spill, coral reef, Yemen, Red Sea
Fig. 1 - S1 (11.10.2020) - Oil spill in the Red Sea, away from the Safer FSO that lie near the coast of Yemen.
Fig. 2 - S1 (mean 2014-2020) - The mean of several radar images shows the ship has changed of orientation along time.
Fig. 3 - S2 (16.11.2020) - ACAPS alerted on the threat to the environment caused by this ship.
"The FSO SAFER is a vessel, which was used to store and export oil from Yemen’s inland oil fields around Marib. In 2015 the vessel fell under Houthi control and has since been neglected. Requests by the UN for inspection of the vessel been rejected by the Houthis. The lack of maintenance of the SAFER with its estimated cargo of 1.148 million barrels of Marib light crude oil makes two scenarios increasingly likely Oil spill or Explosion and a fire on board the FSO unit."

Potential risks of an environmental disaster on the Safer between October to December - Source: ACAPS.

"The coastline of Yemen’s Red Sea and of its neighbouring countries is at risk of an environmental disaster that could happen any day – with substantial humanitarian and economic impacts. It is increasingly likely that there could be an immense oil leakage from and/or an explosion of the FSO Safer, a floating storage and offloading unit anchored in the Red Sea, 60km north of the port of Hodeidah. If disaster strikes, the Safer could release four times the amount of crude oil that was spilled in the Exxon Valdez catastrophe of 1989, which had major impacts on the environment and on people and their livelihoods in affected areas."