Yemeni rebels announce UN deal to unload floating oil tanker

by Anadolu Agency


SANAA, Yemen

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have announced an agreement with the UN to find an alternative ship to unload fuel from a floating oil tanker off the country’s western coast.

“The UN pledged that the alternative tanker must be exportable as the Safer floating ship,” senior Houthi leader Zaid al-Washli told the local Al-Masirah TV channel.

On Wednesday, UN coordinator David Gressly said the unloading of the Safer oil tanker will start early next year.

The FSO Safer is a floating storage and offloading unit located off the western coast of Yemen, 60 km north of the port of Al-Hudaydah, and is used for storing and exporting oil coming from the oilfields in oil-rich central province of Marib.

Now under the control of Houthi rebels, the tanker, which contains more than 1.1 million barrels of oil, has not undergone any maintenance since 2015, causing the corrosion of its hull.

In September, the UN said it received funds from donors to start the emergency operation of unloading the crude fuel from the old Safer tanker into another safer ship.

Yemen has been decimated by more than eight years of war when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country in 2014, including the capital Sanaa.

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