January 25, 2010 / 9:22 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Texas waterway oil spill

Jan 25 (Reuters) - A Saturday collision between a tanker and barge in the port of Port Arthur, Texas, shut a key petrochemical waterway. [ID:nN24161496]

Following are key facts about the incident.


According to the U.S. Coast Guard, on Saturday morning, a barge, one of a string of two barges, being steered by the Dixie Vengeance tug boat collided with the 807-foot (246-meter) tank ship Eagle Otome, ripping a 15-foot-by-8-foot (4.57 meter-by-2.44-meter) hole in a starboard cargo tank, releasing 462,000 gallons, or 11,000 barrels, of oil into the Sabine-Neches Waterway.


The Eagle Otome is double-hulled tank ship owned by AET Tanker Holdings Sdn Bhd, a privately held Malaysian global shipping company, according to the Texas General Land Office. The tank ship was carrying a crude oil cargo to the Exxon Mobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas.


The Sabine-Neches Waterway is a 60-mile (100-km) channel running from Beaumont, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico that supplies crude oil to four refineries. Through most of its length the waterway runs parallel to the Sabine River, which marks the border between Texas and Louisiana.


Four refineries with a combined refining capacity of 1.15 million barrels, or 6.5 percent, of U.S. capacity are supplied through the waterway. None have reported shutdowns since Saturday, or requested emergency oil loans from the US Energy Department.

The refineries are:

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Beaumont, 344,500 barrels per day (bpd)

Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N), Port Arthur, 310,000 bpd

Motiva Enterprises, Port Arthur, 285,000 bpd

Total SA (TOTF.PA), Port Arthur, 232,000 bpd.


Dozens of skimming vessels are recovering oil from the waterway, which interacts with Sabine Lake and several marshes in the area. About half the estimated 11,000 barrels of oil spilled in the collision have been cleaned up. Booms have been deployed to contain the oil. The cleanup costs are being borne by AET. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio)

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