A collision between an oil tanker and a tug boat in the Houston Ship Channel on Friday caused a capsizing and an oil derivative leak. The tug boat, according to reports, was moving two barges, one of which capsized as a result of the collision. The two vessels were carrying a combined 25,000 tons of reformate. This is a by-product of oil refining that is used in the production of gasoline. According to the most recent report from the Houston Chronicle, some 9,000 barrels of reformate was spilled in the waterway and cleanup is continuing. According to estimates made by port officials, the cleanup and the removal of the fuel from the barges’ tankers will take around two days.
So far, the oil spill response crews have deployed 3,800 feet of boom around the barges and another 12,000 feet of boom in surrounding areas to protect the ecosystem while the cleanup continues. The Houston Ship Channel was closed after the collision but was reopened on Sunday after an official from the Texas General Land Office’s oil spill prevention program said the water was not dangerous for humans even though there had been several reports about dead animals in the vicinity