After having transferred all the 1.1 million barrels of oil from the decaying FSO Safer to the replacement oil tanker Yemen (formerly known as Nautica) on 11 August, Smit Salvage completed the final activities yesterday, 28 August.
The final activities included the cleaning of the tanks of the Safer and assisting with the mooring of the Yemen at a location in the vicinity of the Safer. Boskalis‘ multipurpose support vessel Ndeavor is currently on its way to Djibouti where the salvage crew will disembark. Thereafter, the Ndeavor will set sail for Rotterdam.
The departure from Yemen marks the end of a complex salvage operation that began in late May. With the successful oil transfer a huge environmental disaster with serious humanitarian, environmental and economic consequences was averted.
Also read: Smit completes oil transfer 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 contained around 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil.
The FSO had not been maintained since 2015 because of the conflict in Yemen, and had decayed to the point where there was a risk it could explode or break apart, which would have disastrous environmental and humanitarian effects on the region.
Picture by Boskalis.