UPDATE 1-Texas waterway partially reopens after oil spill

* Key Sabine-Neches Waterway partially reopens to traffic

* Resumption of traffic may provide relief to refiners

* At least 26 ships waiting to use the channel

(Updates with partial reopening of waterway)

By Joshua Schneyer

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – A waterway in Port Arthur,
Texas, used to supply oil refineries in the region was
partially reopened to ship traffic on Wednesday, after a tanker
collision and oil spill on Saturday had caused its closure, the
U.S. Coast Guard said.

The key Sabine-Neches waterway, which serves four major
refiners that process up to 1.15 million barrels a day, was
reopened to “limited” tanker traffic after the removal of the
leaky Eagle Otome tanker from the waterway overnight, the Coast
Guard said in a statement.

The Eagle Otome, an ExxonMobil-chartered (XOM.N: )
double-hull tanker, collided with a barge on Saturday and
spilled around 11,000 barrels (462,000 gallons) of its sour
crude oil cargo, prompting a cleanup that still involves almost
900 workers.

The incident led to rate cuts at at least one refinery.
Motiva’s 285,000 barrel-per-day Port Arthur plant cut rates by
100,000 barrels a day since Saturday, sources familiar with the
refinery’s operations told Reuters.

“We are doing everything we can to provide much-needed
relief to the region’s four large refineries,” the Coast Guard
said in a statement.

The Coast Guard said it removed the Eagle Otome from the
channel and was unloading the rest of its 570,000-barrel oil
cargo at Sunoco’s Beaumont, Texas, terminal on Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday a Coast Guard spokesman said there were
at least 12 outbound ships waiting to depart through the
waterway, while 14 ships were waiting to transit in, as of the
last tally on Tuesday night.

The channel should be open to more traffic late Wednesday,
the Coast Guard statement added. Outbound traffic will be
allowed passage first, followed by inbound ships.

So far, oil spill responders have recovered around 534,000
gallons (12,714 barrels) of oil/water mixture from around the
site of the tanker collision.

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(Reporting by Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

UPDATE 1-Texas waterway partially reopens after oil spill