Listing Venezuelan FSO sparks severe ecological concern

The FSO Nabarima, which is anchored in the Gulf of Paria near Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, has tilted severely, sparking concern of a major oil spill disaster.

A latest picture of the vessel, released by the Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), shows the vessel is listing severely to starboard.

The 2005-built FSO tanker, carrying 173,000 tons of oil onboard, suffered water ingress in late August. Following the incident, authorities and operators planned to take oil off the vessel, however no operations have been conducted yet.

An ecological catastrophe without precedent in our history

FFOS has urged both Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago governments to take immediate action to secure the tanker.

“The FSO Nabarima‘s situation is neither new nor novel and we believe that both the Maduro Regime and our Government have been dragging their feet while an ecological disaster is looming in our shared Gulf of Paria,” FFOS said, calling on the wider global community to mount a combined emergency effort to stabilise the FSO and extract all of the oil onboard.

The Trinidad and Tobago government said it has been in touch with counterparts in Venezuela after reports of the tilting emerged in recent days.

“Our Government maintains its concerns about the threat to the environment and continues to seek the best for our people in this matter. Our expert inspection team is ready to proceed and we continue to press for access to the FSO Nabarima as soon as possible,” the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago said in a statement.

Eudis Girot, the executive director of Venezuela’s FUTPV oil workers’ union, said that the situation of the vessel is critical.

“The pump room is inoperative, the generators are damaged, the automatic valves do not work, the working conditions are sub-human, the physical integrity and the lives of the workers are at risk. As well as an ecological catastrophe without precedent in our history,” Girot said in a social media post.

The floating storage tanker, operated by Venezuelan oil company PSVSA, has been located in the Corocoro Field since 2015.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.


  1. This is serious. What possible use is an FSO with a pump room that is inoperable? Why has this FSO been neglected in this way?

    1. Well, ability to hide problems is an important part of the bussiness. Specially if you have a shipyard in Asia. Who built this FSO??

  2. Built at Samsung only a few yrs ago, and nothing working. sabotage is suggested. also the responsibility of the vessel owners. ??

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