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.