Yemeni experts urge UN to ensure safe handling of floating oil reservoir that threatens environmental disaster

Yemeni experts urge UN to ensure safe handling of floating oil reservoir that threatens environmental disaster

The head of the Supervisory Committee for the Urgent Maintenance and Comprehensive Assessment of the Safer Reservoir, Ibrahim al-Siraji, has met on Thursday with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Resident Representative, Auke Lootsma.

The two sides discussed the current status of the Safer floating petroleum reservoir and possible proposals to address its situation, in order to prevent a catastrophic environmental disaster in the Red Sea.

In the meeting, al-Siraji reviewed the reasons that still delay the agreement implementation, calling on the United Nations to carry out its responsibility to remove any existing obstacles and reach the optimal and practical solution to avoid a potential disaster.

He affirmed that the Supreme Political Council of Yemen is keen on safeguarding the marine environment of the Red Sea and to provide all necessary facilities in order to eliminatd the possibility of oil spills.

For his part, Lootsma said that the United Nations would work to remove the existing obstacles to prevent any disaster that might affect the Red Sea environment.

The Safer oil storage facility, moored nearby Hodeidah port, contains an estimated 1.14 million barrels of petroleum. Due to the Saudi aggression and siege, Yemen has been unable to provide appropriate upkeep and safety procedures on the vessel since the beginning of the war in 2015, causing a safety risk that increases with every passing day.