Ian Ralby, the founder of the maritime security firm I.R. "Eni is ready to perform activities to ensure the safe offloading of the Nabarima FSO offshore Venezuela, using state-of-the-art solutions," a spokesperson for Eni told CBS News. "The company will be able to proceed only after approval of its plan by PDVSA (majority shareholder and operator in Petrosucre) and upon formal assurance by the competent U.S. authorities that the mentioned activities bring no sanctions risk either for Eni and its contractors. PDVSA and Venezuela’s ministry of communications did not immediately respond to emailed requests by AP seeking comment on the Nabarima. The Nabarima is operated by the Petrosucre company, a joint venture between the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, and the Italian oil giant ENI. PDVSA has previously denied that the ship poses any threat. The vessel is part of a joint venture between Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and the Italian company Eni SpA. The damaged tanker, which is in the waters separating Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, and is owned by Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), threatens to spill 1.3 million barrels of crude oil into the water. But he told AFP those problems "have been ignored" by PDVSA. 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. In a press release, the president of the commission, María Gabriela Hernández Del Castillo, said that the tanker is now tilting more than what the group reported in August, when the head of the Unitary Federation of Petroleum Workers of Venezuela reported that the vessel had about nine feet of water flooding the lower decks. Today it dangerously leans more than 5 degrees on its right side, the executive said. The vessel is part of a joint venture between Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Italy's Eni SpA. Sophie Lewis is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on space and climate change. "Our cries have gone unanswered and it appears that the Nabarima's situation is worsening daily," the organization wrote on Facebook. 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This is the second recent maritime emergency for Venezuela after a spill at the El Palito refinery last month coated in crude a 9-mile stretch of pristine Caribbean beaches a few hours from the capital of Caracas. Critics of President Nicolas Maduro and maritime experts say the FSO Nabarima is taking on water and could sink. PDVSA could not immediately be reached for comment. A Venezuelan oil tanker has been parked for nearly two years in the Gulf of Paria, carrying approximately 80 million gallons of oil. U.S. Extends Sanctions on Venezuelan Oil Including Six Tankers By The Maritime Executive 01-21-2021 03:01:16 In one of its final actions, the Trump administration extended the … The ship has been stranded in the Gulf since January 2019. Consilium, compared the Venezuelan tanker to the FSO Safer, which has been decaying for years off the coast of Yemen with more than 1 million barrels of oil. The Venezuelan-flagged Nabarima is a 264-meter (866-foot) long ship believed to be almost filled to its capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude — about five times the amount the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989. It was used as a stationary platform anchored in the Gulf of Paria designed to help export the OPEC nation's oil. SE HUNDE NABARIMA es una plataforma de almacenamiento tiene 1300000 bls de petroleo a bordo a punto de derramarse y causar una terrible catástrofe mundial desde golfo de Paria y el Caribe.Condiciones paupérrimas y profundo deterioro, cubierta inferior y equipos 3 mts bajo agua pic.twitter.com/U5WQZM2GPs. An industry executive, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said the lack of maintenance appeared to have damaged valves in the ballast system used to stabilize the ship. Numerous name and registry changes as well as ship-to-ship transfers have become the favored tools to obfuscate the origin and destination of Venezuela's oil cargoes. Gary Aboud, corporate secretary of the organization, visited the vessel Friday, and said what he saw was "frightening." “Nobody’s paying attention to this situation,” Girot said in a phone interview from his base in Barcelona, Venezuela. “This may seem like little more than a leaking pipe, far away in Venezuela," Ralby said. The tanker is “stable” and recent flooding of the ship was “addressed and solved," Eni said, adding that it is working with PDVSA next to unload the oil from the Nabarima. It was used as a stationary platform anchored in the Gulf of … Girot said several PDVSA employees reported on October 12 that the tanker was listing by eight percent while the engine room is flooded and water pumps have broken down. In September, Pedro Figuera, the state oil company's offshore executive director, tweeted that Nabarima complied with environmental protection procedures. A source at state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that was the case and said the company planned to assist with the cleanup. A huge coral reef system, already stressed by climate change, could be damaged beyond recovery — eventually leading to a collapse of the entire marine ecosystem. FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker is docked while oil is pumped into it at the ships terminal of PDVSA's Jose Antonio Anzoategui industrial complex in the state of Anzoategui April 15, 2015. To prevent an environmental disaster, PDVSA would have to transfer crude off the tanker’s cargo to another vessel in a risky ship-to-ship transfer. No one is doing anything," Aboud says, with the tilting vessel behind him. According to PDVSA documents, the giant oil tanker flying the Iranian flag arrived at the Jose oil port in Venezuela this month carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian condensate for use in reducing Venezuela’s production of very heavy oil. After years of neglect, the FSO Nabarima, a rusting hulk full of thick crude, is in a dangerous state of disrepair. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. He said he is ready to retract his statements and let Maduro throw him into jail if he turns out to be wrong. Critics of Venezuela’s collapsing state-run oil firm PDVSA say the double-hulled tanker — built in 2005 for ConocoPhillips by South Korea's Samsung — is just one example of the socialist government’s corruption and mismanagement that has bankrupted the nation's petroleum industry that once made Venezuela wealthy. October 22, 2020 / 7:24 AM On Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago also said PDVSA has "a responsibility to take action to avoid an environmental disaster in Venezuelan waters," which it warned would also harm people in nearby countries. The oil tanker listing off a remote Venezuelan coastline is triggering international calls for action. However, the Italian oil firm Eni, which operates the Petrosucre joint venture as a minority partner with PDVSA, said in a statement Wednesday that there is currently no risk of an oil spill. If the oil tanker Nabarima were to disintegrate, this would be the fourth major oil spill from Venezuela in the past 3 months alone, and by far the worst. “That ship should not be in this shape except for neglect and stupidity,” said Russ Dallen, head of Caracas Capital Markets, who closely tracks Venezuela’s maritime industry. (Maxar Technologies via AP). The vessel has been stranded in the gulf since January 2019. CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The sight of a huge oil tanker that has taken on water and is leaning to one side off a remote stretch of Venezuela's coast has triggered international calls for action. Do your own inspection,” Girot said in an online video in recent days. "These are not false images. ", First published on October 21, 2020 / 4:27 PM. Go out there. In a record-breaking hurricane season, a massive oil spill would threaten the entirety of the southern Caribbean. 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The Venezuelan-flagged Nabarima is a 264-meter (866-foot) long ship believed to be almost filled to its capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude — about five times the amount the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989. An Eni spokesperson told Reuters that the company was seeking to offload crude oil from the vessel but was waiting for the "green light" from the U.S. government "in order to prevent any sanctions risk. © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. The problem is nothing new, but it is growing critical, he said. The Greek-owned tanker Bella, one of four ships from which the US hijacked oil bound for Venezuela. According to local politicians and activist groups, the Nabarima is carrying about 1.3 million barrels of crude oil — about five times the amount the Exxon Valdez famously spilled in 1989. He is urging the embattled leader to look beyond years of bitter disputes between his government and the oil workers union to head off a potential environmental disaster. "But the consequences could be catastrophic for the entire Caribbean.”. Palau is asking Venezuela to investigate the vessel that claimed last month to be the Ndros. A potential spill in the shallow inland sea that Venezuela shares with Trinidad & Tobago could damage fragile mangroves, fisheries and bird sanctuaries. Venezuelan oil minister @TareckPSUV greets captain of Iranian oil tanker Fortune, 1st of 5 Iranian ships delivering crude to Venezuela in face of threats from US warships patrolling the regionThe resistance fights on in time of COVID-19! Video taken by Aboud shows the boat tilting at an angle he estimates at about 25 degrees. A map from the website Marine Traffic showed some unidentified ships near Venezuela’s coast Tuesday. This triangulated trade in Venezuelan oil is now in the crosshairs of the Trump administration. 1st Iranian ship reaches Venezuela with no sign of ... Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Saturday that the United States should not to interfere with the shipment of oil bound for Venezuela. He has also posted three photos of what he said is the ship's flooded engine room. Associated Press writer Joshua Goodman reported this story from Miami and AP writer Scott Smith reported in Caracas, Venezuela. He called for a national emergency. In 2008, crude oil production in Venezuela was the tenth-highest in the world at 2,394,020 barrels per day (380,619 m 3 /d) and the country was also the eighth-largest net oil exporter in the world. However, anti-government oil workers like Eudis Girot, head of the Unitary Federation of Petroleum Workers of Venezuela, has launched a campaign seeking to get President Nicolás Maduro to pay attention. ", On Monday, environmental group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, which represents 50,000 fishermen in the local industry, pleaded with the Caribbean community to work together to protect the region and people from a possible disaster, emphasizing the need for a "clean, healthy sea.". Take a helicopter. The tanker flotilla is reportedly carrying about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela. Environmentalist groups sounded the alarm this week over a stricken Venezuelan oil tanker in the Caribbean carrying 1.3 million tons of crude that risks slowly sinking into the … “I invited you, Mr. President. Shipping tracking data shows that it has also sunk 14.5 meters (47.57 feet), right at the waterline, a sign of excess weight. The Ndros was a Palau-flagged ship that was scrapped … The US government sanctions both Iran and Venezuela, including their oil industries. The Venezuelan-flagged Nabarima is a 264-meter (866-foot) long ship believed to be almost filled to its capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude — about five times the amount the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989. New photos of the vessel show it appearing to tilt heavily on its side — leading to growing concerns of a potential environmental disaster that threatens one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. “By God, I hope I am wrong.”. Venezuela is one of the world's largest exporters of oil and has the world's largest proven oil reserves at an estimated 296.5 billion barrels (20% of global reserves) as of 2012. But it has fallen inactive with the recent plunge in global energy demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and to U.S. sanctions on Maduro’s government that have scared away potential buyers of the country's heavy crude. The tanker arrived at the port of Jose last week to lend 1.9 million barrels of oil for sale in Asia, according to Reuters. / CBS News. The Nabarima floating storage and offloading (FSO) facility, operated by the Petrosucre joint venture between Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela and Italy's Eni, is seen tilted in the Paria Gulf, between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, October 16, 2020. ", Hernández said that "no sanctions" could prevent the companies from transferring crude oil, calling it a "cheap excuse. Fishermen and Friends of the Sea via Reuters, Pope marks Holocaust by warning genocide "can happen again", Watch Live: Blinken delivers remarks on his first full day as secretary of state, "Vaccine nationalism": Nations clash over global vaccine supply, California Privacy/Information We Collect. As a union leader, Girot talks frequently with workers for Petrosucre who risk their lives boarding the Nabarima and report back what they see. Venezuela has said that its air and navy forces will escort Iranian oil tankers arriving with much-needed fuel after Tehran warned of 'consequences' if the US tried to intercept the ships. But U.S. sanctions that ban Americans from doing business with Venezuela could scare off many foreign companies from getting involved. It was used as a stationary platform anchored in the Gulf of … Eudis Girot, a Venezuelan oil sector union leader, said the 855-foot (264-meter) ship has had maintenance problems since 2014. CARACAS, Venezuela -- The sight of a huge oil tanker that has taken on water and is leaning to one side off a remote stretch of Venezuela's coast has triggered international calls for action. "Their silence is unacceptable and if the vessel overturns, will never be forgiven. “If this oil remains in this ship we run the risk of a tragedy and ecological catastrophe at any moment.”. The situation has raised alarm in Trinidad and the nearby Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, said a second industry executive, who also insisted on speaking anonymously because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Since January 2019, Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company PdVSA has been designated as subject to US sanctions, with the Treasury Department effectively blocking the company’s property and banning its transactions with American citizens, making it difficult for the nation to find shipowners willing to help to export its crude. ", This week, lawmakers from the Commission of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change of the Venezuelan National Assembly called on PDVSA and Eni to unload barrels from the vessel "as soon as possible.". A Venezuelan oil tanker has been parked for nearly two years in the Gulf of Paria, carrying approximately 80 million gallons of oil. Said what he saw was `` frightening. 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