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Statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Successful Transfer of Oil from Tanker in Red Sea
August 12, 2023

Today, the UN completed the offloading of over one million barrels of crude oil from the FSO Safer, an ageing supertanker moored off the Yemeni coast in the Red Sea – averting an oil spill that would have caused major environmental, economic, and humanitarian damage. Last year the United States – spearheaded by U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking – mobilized an international coalition to fund the operation. The United States thanks UN Resident Coordinator for Yemen David Gressly and the UN Development Programme for their leadership and successful execution of this complex mission. The Safer served as a floating offshore terminal for Yemeni oil exports until 2014, when the Yemen conflict halted exports and maintenance of the vessel. Years of neglect put the ship at risk of an imminent spill that would have damaged the entire Red Sea region and beyond. We urge donors to mobilize the additional funds needed to complete the final steps of the full operation to address all residual environmental threats.