Abandoned decaying oil tanker may explode, sparking environmental and

seawater has entered the engine compartment of the tanker, which hasn’t been maintained for over five years, causing damage to the pipelines and increasing the risk of sinking. Rust has covered parts of the tanker, and the inert gas that prevents the tanks from gathering inflammable gases has leaked out.

Well that’s mildly frightening.

A bit more than mildly.

It’s been a long time since I worked on tankers, but if the tanks are full, I’d suspect the flammable gasses in the airspace above the cargo are well above the explosive limit, right?

Hard to be sure, but the article says the ship “…was purchased to hold up to 3 million gallons…” so if it has 1 million now, it’s 1/3 full. Since the Yemenis haven’t done any (recent) maintenance and won’t let inspectors near it, who knows?

Only if the tanks are full, and the tanks are sealed and the tank atmosphere is not open to the outside or if the tanbks are partially full, the atmosphere was inerted and remains closed to the outside…

There was a thread and a discussion about this on the forum a while back. I can’t find it but it was about a year ago.

Abandoned + decaying + crude oil + oxygen = pyrophoric iron = good chance of boom.

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You are right (Except that it is Bbls. not Gls.):

PS> Being originally Steam Turbine she probably have a scoop inlet for cooling water. Another FSO with this arrangement flooded in the engine room while on location in Indonesia.
The scoop inlet had not been blanked off externally, thus allowing corrosion to cause leak(s) to develop over time.

This one?

When reading this new thread, I had a feeling of ‘déjà vu’, too.

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Yes, that’s it.

Someone could drop a nuclear weapon on it to vaporizer all the oil.

I guess I missed that one. Looks like the only thing that has changed in a year is that they are still just talking about it…and maybe will get permission for a site visit.

The tankers I worked on only carried diesel and jet fuel. MSC didn’t have IG and we never blew up once. Of course we did perform maintenance more than every five years. That would be sketchy salvage job I’d think.

Both of those are class D combustible liquids and have a relatively high flash point.Thus they do not require IG. Crude oil is a grab bag molecularity and the lighter components vaporize much more readily making it more hazardous.


The added bonus on some MSC ships (T-AOE) is that not only do they carry diesel and jet fuel but also every type of ordnance the Navy uses short of ICBMs.


Ahh, but I always took comfort knowing that the 2000 lb bombs were protected by the JP-5 wing tanks! A nice safety cushion.

Unless I’m mistaken the T-AKE’s had provision for IG systems. I never sailed on those, not sure if they used them.

UN warns of a potential “environmental bomb”:

“Technical assessment” seems reasonable - though I don’t envy the assessors. “Initial light repairs” seems more than a little bit silly - what are they gonna do, hire the UN guy’s brother-in-law to chip paint?

No that is not what it says.

Technical Assessment by qualified inspectors to get the facts on the table.
They will determine what immediate action is necessary.
Implementation to be by qualified repair crews and does not involve “chipping paint”.

Have you got a better plan?

PS> “The UN guy” is a woman.

A nasty problem for all. Lot of players that think they have a finger in the rotting pie.