The operation to repair and move the Maersk Carla tanker is underway, following the collision with the Conti Peridot bulker that caused the Danish vessel to spill MTBE into the Houston Channel.
The section of the Channel in which the spillage occured has remained closed while the MTBE spillage evaporates, thouhgh it is expected to reopen later today (Thursday).
The closure of the channel’s section has impacted operations of Exxon Mobil Corp’s refinery in Baytown, Texas amid tanker delays, Bloomberg reports.
Since Wednesday afternoon, 83 vessels were queuing at the ship channel, 48 inbound and 35 outbound, the US Coast Guard said.
MTBE evaporates very quickly from surface water, the US Environmental Protection Agency said citing results of various studies. However, Texas Department of State Health Services advised that fisherman exercise common sense by avoiding fish and shellfish containing chemical odor.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation.