While the "Safer" oil tanker has been mooring a few years ago outside the Ras Issa port in Al-Hodeidah governorate in western Yemen and threatening an unprecedented environmental disaster in the region, the parties to the conflict in Yemen are satisfied with trading blams among themselves to justify the failure to take decisive measures to prevent the disaster.
The Yemeni internationally recognized government on Sunday again warned of the possibility of an explosion or leakage from an oil tanker anchored outside the Ras Issa port in Al-Hodeidah governorate, western Yemen.
The Yemeni government has accused the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) of continuing to prevent the UN team of experts from inspecting and maintaining the oil tanker.
"In the event of a leak due to the erosion of the oil tanker, technical reports indicate a potential spill of 138 million liters of oil into the Red Sea," said Yemeni Information Minister, Moammar Al-Eryany tweeted..
He pointed out that "this will be worse (by four times) than the (Exxon Valdez) oil disaster in Alaska in 1989, as the region did not fully recover after nearly 30 years."
He added: "The port of Hodeidah will be closed for several months, which will lead to a lack of fuel and the necessary needs, as fuel prices will rise by 800% and the prices of goods and food will double."
Al-Eryani pointed out that this would cost Yemeni economic fishing stocks $ 60 million a year, or $ 1.5 billion over the next 25 years.
The Yemeni Minister of Information noted that "in the event of a fire, 3 million people in Hodeidah will be affected by poisonous gases, and 500,000 people accustomed to working in the fishing profession and their families, who are estimated to number 1.7 million people, will need food aid and therefore fish stocks may take 25" A year to recover. "
Al-Eryani had previously accused the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) at the end of last July of preventing "a United Nations technical team from carrying out inspection and maintenance work for the ship Saffer anchored in the Red Sea near the port of Ras Isa in Hodeidah 4 years ago."
He pointed out that this vessel contains more than a million barrels of light Marib oil, and its requirement to obtain guarantees that enable it to return revenues estimated at $ 80 million.
In turn, the oil company in Sanaa accused several times, the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, of causing an environmental disaster in the Red Sea.
The company, run by the Ansar Allah group (Houthis), accused the coalition, at the end of 2016, of denying access to the "Safer" tanker or carrying out any maintenance of the tanker that was converted into a floating tank, about 4.8 nautical miles from Ras Issa port in Al Hodeidah governorate and containing More than a million barrels of Marib light crude, in light of fears that it might explode due to the stoppage of maintenance work.
It is noteworthy that the "Safer" tanker, which was brought in by the Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC) about 30 years ago, was operating as a temporary crude oil export terminal.
But the circumstances of the war in Yemen led to the disruption of the oil company’s business, leaving behind the oil tanker “Safer” off the eroded Yemeni coast. There is a possibility that it may explode because of the absence of maintenance and its exit from work for more than 4 years, and perhaps what makes it worse is that it is docked in the conflict zone, which may make the tanker vulnerable.