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Saudi Arabia warns of ‘oil spot’ near aging tanker off Yemen's coast

UN officials have described the FSO Safer, an aging vessel that contains 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil, as a ticking time bomb.

Saudi Arabia told the United Nations an “oil spot” has been discovered off Yemen’s western coast near an aging oil tanker, heightening the risk of a major humanitarian and economic catastrophe should the vessel leak, Reuters reports.

The FSO Safer, a dilapidated ship stranded about 37 miles north of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah, contains 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil and holds the potential to unleash four times as much oil into the sea than was spilled from the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989, the United Nations says. The Houthi rebel group hasn't performed maintenance on the vessel since seizing it from the government in 2015.

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