Over the past two weeks, further good progress has been made by Smit Salvage to prepare the FSO Safer for the oil transfer phase of the operation. Recent work has focused on inspecting and reinstating equipment on board the FSO Safer.

This includes various winches required for the mooring operation as well as the stripping pumps to facilitate the transfer of last remains of the cargo to the replacement oil tanker alongside the Safer. Furthermore, the underwater inspection of the hull by a team of professional divers has been executed.

Also read: Boskalis to remove oil from FSO Safer in Yemen

Boskalis’ multipurpose vessel Ndeavor is on site to assist in these operations.

Two tugboats owned by Smit Lamnalco have also arrived on site. These tugboats will assist with the berthing of the replacement tanker when it arrives on site. For contingency purposes oil booms will be installed as a precautionary measure during the ship-to-ship transfer of the oil.

Also read: UN acquires oil tanker to remove oil from FSO Safer

FSO Safer

The Safer is a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) facility moored approximately 9 kilometres off the Red Sea coast of Yemen and 50 kilometres northeast of the port of Hodeida. Constructed in 1976 as an oil tanker and converted in 1987 to be a floating storage facility, the Safer is single-hulled and is believed to contain an estimated 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil.

The FSO has not been maintained since 2015 because of the conflict in Yemen, and it has decayed to the point where there is a risk it could explode or break apart, which would have disastrous environmental and humanitarian effects on the region.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has bought a very large crude carrier (VLCC) from Euronav, which is part of the UN-coordinated operation to remove the more than a million barrels of oil from the decaying tanker.

The picture at the top is a still from the video above.