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Sabine Neches Waterway reopens after spill

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 29
-- The Sabine Neches Waterway at Port Arthur, Tex., has been reopened to limited tanker traffic while clean-up continues of crude oil spilled after a tanker-barge collision Jan. 23 (OGJ Online, Jan. 26, 2009).

Closure of the waterway caused minor disruption of refinery operations at Port Arthur and nearby Beaumont.

About 462,000 gal of crude entered the water when a barge being pushed by the Dixie Vengeance towing vessel punctured the hull of the 95,660-dwt Eagle Otome tanker.

Cause of the collision remained unclear after the US Coast Guard raised doubts about earlier reports that the tanker had lost power.

The US Coast Guard said three tugs escorted the damaged tanker to the Sunoco Inc. terminal at Beaumont for discharge of the remaining cargo.

“We are doing everything we can to provide much-needed relief to the region's four large refineries,” said USCG Capt. J.J. Plunkett, captain of the port and federal on-scene coordinator for the response.

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