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A Venezuelan vessel carrying 1.3 mn barrels of oil is tilting — and it could lead to a catastrophic oil spill by Sophie Lewis October 22,2020   |  Source: CBS News

A Venezuelan oil tanker has been parked for nearly two years in the Gulf of Paria, carrying approximately 80 million gallons of oil. 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.

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. The vessel is part of a joint venture between Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Italy's Eni SpA.

The vessel has been stranded in the gulf since January 2019. 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."

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."

Gary Aboud, corporate secretary of the organization, visited the vessel Friday, and said what he


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