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Venezuelan oil tanker FSO Nabarima is at risk of sinking loaded with crude oil and attracts international concern

Written by Flavia Marinho
Published 04/09/2020 às 17:07
oil tanker FSO nabarima
Venezuelan oil tanker FSO Nabarima is at risk of sinking loaded with crude oil and causing an environmental disaster in the Caribbean

Crude oil is normally stored in the FSO for transhipment onto oil tankers for export. This transhipment has been stopped since the US sanctions.

The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) continues to closely monitor the evolution of the situation regarding the Venezuelan oil tanker FSO NABARIMA – abandoned off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, to avoid an environmental disaster in the Caribbean. Another similar case occurred recently, a ship bound for Brazil broke in two and spilled almost a thousand tons of oil on a reef in Mauritius

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As stated in the statement on September 2, 2020, the oil tanker FSO NABARIMA stores the crude oil produced in the COROCORO field which is operated by a Joint Venture (PDVSA 74% ENI- Italian Multinational 26%).

Crude oil is normally stored in the FSO for transhipment onto oil tankers for export. This transhipment has been stopped since the US sanctions.

The FSO has already reached its maximum capacity (1,3 million barrels of oil). Initial reports from Venezuelan authorities indicated that the vessel was upright and in stable condition. There was no risk of oil spillage. Furthermore, she is a double hull vessel, which must provide protection against spillage in the event that the vessel sinks.

Recent reports in the Venezuelan press claim that the oil tanker listed 5 degrees to the right and that it sank 14,5 meters at the waterline. An ARGUS report dated September 2 cites a statement by ENI, the Italian multinational energy company that has a minority stake in the field.

The report indicated that the FSO is stable and the recent water leak has been resolved. The report further stated that there are plans underway to transfer the crude oil to another vessel to further stabilize the FSO and that there is no risk of an oil spill.

The MEEI initiated an official communication to obtain an independent verification of the ship's condition from the Venezuelan authorities. In addition, the MEEI, through the Embassy of Venezuela in Trinidad and Tobago, has offered any technical or logistical assistance to the Government of Venezuela that it may require in this matter. Furthermore, the Minister of Energy is in contact with his Venezuelan counterpart for further updates as they become available.

The Nation must be reminded that Venezuela is a sovereign state and Trinidad and Tobago cannot unilaterally enter Venezuelan territory to carry out any reconnaissance or other work without being invited to do so. There is a bilateral agreement between Venezuela and Trinidad for an oil spill contingency plan in case there is a genuine risk or an active spill occurs. This agreement will guide the action of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Check below the video of the oil tanker FSO NABARIMA

Flavia Marinho

Flavia Marinho is a Production Engineer with a postgraduate degree in Electrical and Automation Engineering, with extensive experience in the onshore and offshore shipbuilding industry. In recent years, she has dedicated herself to writing articles for news websites in the areas of industry, oil and gas, energy, shipbuilding, geopolitics, jobs and courses, with more than 7 thousand articles published. Her technical expertise and communication skills make her a respected reference in her field. Contact us to suggest an agenda, advertise job vacancies or advertise on our portal.

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