Since the outbreak of the Yemeni civil war in 2015, the FSO SAFER has been left unmaintained and gradually falling into disrepair.
With over one million barrels of oil on board (four times that of the Exxon Valdez incident in 1989) the SAFER holds the potential to cause a catastrophic impact on both local communities and populations, as well as a wide array of ecosystems.
Working with ACAPS and the Satellite Applications Catapult, we have been aiding the FCDO in modelling the four most likely scenarios involving the SAFER to better facilitate preparedness and risk management. These scenarios involve:
- Heavy wear or corrosion of the vessel’s bottom steel, which would result in the loss of half of one of the vessel’s storage tanks
- Damages to the PLEM structure and corresponding pipeline
- Release from three oil tanks caused by the hull cracking as a result of fire or explosion
- A fire onboard engulfing three of the storage tanks
To better understand the threat of the SAFER on local environments and populations, our team assessed the probabilities of individual assets being affected such as fishing ports, as well as taking into account the changes caused by varying seasonal sea levels.
With billions of dollars needed in estimated clean-up costs and millions of lives affected, we provide an update on the current state of the SAFER and our continued involvement in our latest infographic below.