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Ray
01-24-2010, 02:41 AM
PORT ARTHUR, Texas – A crude oil spill in a southeast Texas port that happened when a tanker and towing vessel collided Saturday was not expected to spread beyond a two-mile area, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
It was unclear exactly how much oil spilled into the water, but the Coast Guard said it could have been as much as 450,000 gallons.
No one was injured when the 800-foot tanker carrying oil collided with a towing vessel pushing two barges, but the Port of Port Arthur was closed and some nearby residents were evacuated for about seven hours. The Coast Guard said the crash left a 15-by-8-foot hole in the tanker and damaged one of its oil tanks, resulting in the spill.
According to Petty Officer Richard Brahm, the ship's crew members said they pumped 69,000 barrels from the damaged tank that carried 80,000 barrels, so they have 11,000 barrels — about 450,000 gallons — that they can't account for.
Several local officials said only 1,000 barrels, or about 42,000 gallons, of oil had been spilled into the water.
Initial reports indicated the environmental impact had been minimal. The cause of collision was still under investigation.
Brahm acknowledged that it didn't look like hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude was in the water. He said some might still be in the damaged tank.
Even if 450,000 gallons were released, the spill would still be much smaller than the 11 million gallons spilled in Prince William Sound when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989.
Coast Guard Capt. J.J. Plunkett said late Saturday that officials believed the oil spill was "pretty much contained" in a 2-mile stretch of the Sabine Neches Waterway, where the spill took place and that runs along the city of Port Arthur, about 90 miles east of Houston.
"That would make the cleanup shorter, not longer," Plunkett said. "The unknown of it is mother nature and what she's going to do with spreading around the oil."
Plunkett said officials did not know how long the cleanup would take but the effort would take at least another day.
The two vessels were still blocking the waterway Saturday night, with a couple of Coast Guard ships floating near them. The smell of oil was at times strong in the air and throughout the waterway one could see the orange plastic floating barriers that had been put in place by the Coast Guard to contain the spill.
Plunkett said initial reports indicated none of the oil had affected area marshes or hurt any local wildlife.
"We've been pretty lucky with the oil staying in that narrow stretch," he said.
Fewer than 100 people in a 28-block area of downtown were evacuated from the area following the collision because hydrogen sulfide — a hazardous gas with a rotten egg smell — was emanating from the oil, said Port Arthur Police Officer Wendy Billiot. But they were allowed to go home by Saturday evening after the gas was no longer being detected.
Mike Free, a battalion chief with the Port Arthur fire department, said authorities would re-evaluate whether to order another evacuation when the two metal vessels are separated.
Plunkett said officials were still preparing a plan on how to separate the vessels to ensure there is no fire or explosion and that no additional oil is spilled.

During the collision, the towing vessel also hit another tanker that was tied to a pier. Brahm said that tanker sustained some damage, but had no leaks.
The damaged tanker, the Eagle Atome, is owned by AET Tankers, a Malaysian company with offices in Houston. AET said in a statement that it was working with authorities to determine how much crude had spilled. One of the worst shipping accidents in the area was the June 1990 spill from the Norwegian tanker Mega Borg. It leaked 4.3 million gallons of crude oil about 60 miles off Galveston.

Ray
01-24-2010, 02:49 AM
Picture here: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6831945.html

Ray
01-24-2010, 05:54 AM
http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/425/460483/

Ray
01-24-2010, 06:10 AM
The tree huggers are gonna love this ****.

http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=762082

Mediumheavyaction6'6
01-24-2010, 08:17 AM
I have been working on a mitigated site that Chevron built for the last year in Bridge City, Tx. The site is in the Naches Basin. Hopefully, none of that oil will run down that way. The site that Chevron paid to have built is one of the best restorations I have ever seen. The management company in charge, Arcadis, and the growers, Stream Properties out of Lake Charles, really did a bang up job making sure they planted the right plants for the right areas.

fishinpox
01-24-2010, 09:15 AM
I have been working on a mitigated site that Chevron built for the last year in Bridge City, Tx. The site is in the Naches Basin. Hopefully, none of that oil will run down that way. The site that Chevron paid to have built is one of the best restorations I have ever seen. The management company in charge, Arcadis, and the growers, Stream Properties out of Lake Charles, really did a bang up job making sure they planted the right plants for the right areas.

lucas you damn http://www.smileyvault.com/albums/character/smiley-vault-character-108.gif (http://www.smileyvault.com/) tree hugger

Will"E"Fish
01-24-2010, 09:39 AM
Well ! after seeing the picture of the vessel's involved ;I can say that one company who has been having a strong turn for less business will be definetely having a large exspense if they are at fault. In my experience Ship's are given the right of way over barge's.

Ray
01-24-2010, 08:19 PM
Well ! after seeing the picture of the vessel's involved ;I can say that one company who has been having a strong turn for less business will be definetely having a large exspense if they are at fault. In my experience Ship's are given the right of way over barge's.

With radar, VHF and AIS, there is no excuse for this from professional captains and pilots.

Ray
01-24-2010, 09:45 PM
Crews worked Sunday to protect two sensitive wildlife areas after a crude oil spill shut down parts of a major southeast Texas port, state Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said.
Plastic walls known as booms and oil-sucking skimmer boats were used to safeguard a lake that is a crucial breeding ground and a wildlife management area that lost its protective gates when Hurricane Ike roared ashore a year and a half ago, Patterson said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said about 462,000 gallons — or 11,000 barrels — of oil spilled into the water Saturday when an 800-foot tanker headed for an Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery in Beaumont collided with a towing vessel pushing two barges near Port Arthur, about 90 miles east of Houston. It was the largest spill in Texas since 1994, but still well shy of one 20 years ago involving Norwegian tanker Mega Borg that leaked 4.3 million gallons of crude oil about 60 miles off Galveston.
The tide lifted the two ships and they separated shortly after midnight Sunday without more oil being spilled, Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm said.
The crew of the damaged tanker, the Eagle Atome, said the remaining 69,000 of the 80,000 barrels of oil in the ship were pumped out, according to the Coast Guard.
Chief Warrant Officer Lionel Bryant of the Coast Guard said about 45,800 feet of booms were deployed to contain the spill.
"Because of where it happened, we were able to get teams out there quickly to at least contain it for now," Bryant said. "But it's still a tremendously large spill."
None of the sensitive wildlife areas had been affected, Bryant said. That included Keith Lake, a breeding ground for shrimp and other small fish, and the Murphree Wildlife Management Area, where several endangered species have been spotted.
Bryant said his agency had one report of an oil-covered bird and encouraged residents to report any sightings of affected wildlife.
"It's too early to claim victory yet," Bryant said. "Right now, there's no impact in the marshes and no impact in Keith Lake."
Coast Guard officials have said the spill was mostly contained in a 2-mile stretch of the Sabine Neches Waterway, which runs along the city of Port Arthur. The area off-limits to ships was extended 18 miles to the Texas Gulf Coast in case of a breach or a wind shift that might complicate containment efforts, Bryant said.
The Sabine Neches Waterway is the second-largest in Texas, according to the online Handbook of Texas. Bryant said refineries generally are prepared for a 72-hour shutdown, which would extend into Tuesday. He said it wasn't known when the waterway would reopen.
The tanker is owned by AET Tankers, a Malaysian company with offices in Houston. Patterson said AET would pay for most of the cleanup. A spokesman said the company was working with the Coast Guard on cleanup and assessment and referred to Coast Guard officials for further comment.
Exxon Mobil spokesman Kevin Allexon said the company was monitoring the ship owner's response and was ready to provide help if necessary. The Irving, Texas-based company said it does not expect the accident to affect operations at its Beaumont refinery.
"Exxon Mobil is very concerned about this unfortunate incident. The vessels we charter to transport our products meet rigorous safety standards," the company said in a written statement.
The ship collided with a towing vessel pushing two barges, leaving a 15-foot-by-8-foot hole in the tanker. During the collision, the towing vessel also hit another tanker that was tied to a pier. Brahm said that tanker sustained some damage, but had no leaks.
A National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman said the agency was supporting the Coast Guard investigation but had no further details Sunday.