Water ingress reported on Venezuelan FSO

Water ingress has been reported on an ageing FSO off Venezuela which is carrying 173,000 tons of oil onboard.

Eudis Girot, who heads a local trade union covering the petroleum industries, cited the poor maintenance onboard the FSO Nabarima, causing the water ingress, photos of which he posted on social media.

The images show water – up to 1.5 m in height – seeping into the FSO’s engine room. The FSO is operated by PDVSA, the state-run oil major.

Venezuela would struggle to contain a major accident from the FSO. The country is already grappling with another oil spill from last month that has coated a stretch of the nation’s Caribbean coastline.

FSOs in poor shape have been making headlines this year. In July the United Nations branded an abandoned FSO off Yemen with 1.1m barrels of oil onboard as a potential environmental disaster in waiting.

The decaying, misleadingly named Safer FSO has been moored and left without maintenance near the war-torn Yemeni port of Ras Isa for more than four years, according to the UN.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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