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UN Says Agreement Reached on Yemen Tanker Oil


FILE - This handout satellite image obtained courtesy of Maxar Technologies on July 19, 2020, shows a view of the FSO Safer oil tanker, off the Ras Isa marine terminal, Yemen.

The United Nations says there is an agreement in principle for a U.N. plan to transfer crude oil from a tanker moored off the coast of Yemen that has raised concerns of a massive spill due to a lack of maintenance.

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths noted the breakthrough in comments Tuesday to the U.N. Security Council.

Griffiths did not provide details of the agreement or when the transfer operation would begin.

FILE - Martin Griffiths, the United Nations humanitarian chief, speaks to The Associated Press, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 28, 2021.
FILE - Martin Griffiths, the United Nations humanitarian chief, speaks to The Associated Press, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 28, 2021.

The FSO Safer is owned by Yemen’s national oil company and has been used to store oil about nine kilometers off the coast of Hodeida province since the late 1980s.

The tanker is holding 1.1 million barrels of oil, but the United Nations says it has not been inspected or maintained since 2015.

U.N. environmental officials have warned that an oil leak from the tanker could force the closure of the port of Hodeida, a crucial entry point for food and humanitarian aid for Yemen.

A spill could also harm fishing grounds, commercial shipping routes on the Red Sea and other countries in the region.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

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