The cargo transfer from damaged oil tanker Genmar Companion has been delayed yet again by adverse weather.
The vessel, which has a cracked upper deck, has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands since December 16.
It was first due to have its 54,304-tonne cargo transferred from the Bermudan-flagged product tanker on January 1.
The ship-to-ship transfer by specialist company Fendercare Marine to the BW Seine was rescheduled for yesterday.
Now officials, who have been monitoring weather conditions closely, have said the process, which could take between 24 and 36 hours, will begin as soon as weather permits.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for today and tomorrow, so the chances of the transfer today are thought to be slim.
The Genmar Companion, which will be repaired when it enters Belfast Harbour, has been anchored at the entrance to Belfast Lough for nearly three weeks.
When the delicate operation does begin, a temporary exclusion zone will be in place around the merchant vessel, which had been 40 miles west of Tory Island, Co Donegal, on its journey from Rotterdam to New York when the damage occurred.