The United Nations has struck a $55m deal with Euronav to buy a VLCC to receive more than 1.14m barrels of oil from a disintegrating tanker off the coast of Yemen.

The ship, which the UN has not identified, is currently in dry dock for modifications and is expected to arrive in early May for the operation to remove the oil from the 407,000-dwt FSO Safer (built 1976).

The FSO Safer is one of the largest vessels ever built and has been positioned off the Yemeni coast for more than 30 years.