Bloomberg News

Fog Halts 92 Ships at Houston, Sabine Ship Channels in Texas

December 15, 2011

(Adds number of vessels waiting to pass through Sabine Ship Channel in fourth paragraph. Run BMAP NEWS 8041 <GO> to view map of tankers in area.)

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- About 92 vessels are waiting to pass through the Houston and Sabine ship channels in Texas after fog hampered visibility, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and a pilots association.

About 60 vessels are waiting to enter the Houston Ship Channel and 10 are waiting to leave the waterway, which leads to the largest U.S. petroleum port, Phillip Woods, a Coast Guard watch supervisor, said today in an interview.

Operations were suspended Dec. 13 and some vessels departed yesterday during a break in the weather, he said.

There are 13 inbound vessels waiting to enter the Sabine Ship Channel, Derek Rutherford, a dispatcher with the pilots association that guides the ships through the channel, said in a telephone interview. Nine vessels are waiting to leave, he said.

Ships move from the Gulf of Mexico through the Sabine channel to supply oil to refineries owned by Valero Energy Corp., Total SA and Motiva Enterprises LLC in Port Arthur and by Exxon Mobil Corp. in Beaumont.

--With assistance from Lynn Doan in San Francisco. Editors: David Marino, Charlotte Porter

To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Polson in New York at; Aaron Clark in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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