Texas City Oil Spill Could Cause Local Gas Pump Prices to Rise
The Saturday collision in heavy fog between a cargo ship and a Kirby Inland Marine barge released as much as 168,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into Galveston Bay, at the mouth of the channel. The accident shutdown all marine traffic on the 52-mile corridor, which connects eight refineries to their supply of crude oil. Combined, the facilities account for about 12 percent of the U.S. refining capacity, and include two of the nation’s biggest – Exxon’s refinery in Baytown and Marathon Petroleum’s in Texas City
So far, Exxon and Valero have said they haven’t seen any impact. Marathon hasn’t commented. But refineries need a steady diet of crude to maintain production, and their output could be cut if the channel remains closed for more than a few days. The Coast Guard set up an emergency safety zone around the spill area that lasts through March 29, and indication that the shutdown could continue for much of the week.