Port of Corpus reopens after pipeline fire: Update

  • Market: Condensate, Crude oil, LPG, Oil products, Petrochemicals
  • 08/24/20

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The Port of Corpus Christi in Texas has re-opened after a deadly explosion and fire from a ruptured propane pipeline near the port's refinery area last week.

The captain of the port has reopened the Corpus Christi ship channel with certain restrictions from the Chemical basin to the Viola basin, the port's chief executive Sean Strawbridge said.

Sections of the port had been shut since the 21 August incident when a dredging barge struck a submerged propane pipeline. The closures disrupted shipping traffic at the port which is a key outlet for exporting US crude and other commodities.

The Coast Guard on 22 August recovered the bodies of two crew members and two others were recovered today. Six other crew members were taken to area hospitals last week, according to the Corpus Christi fire department.

Coast Guard crews and partner agencies yesterday started recovery operations for the dredging vessel which sank after it broke apart following the fire. Crews located a piece of the vessel in the middle of the channel yesterday and were in the process of removing it.

Clean up operations also continued. About 38 bl of diesel have been removed from the water and about 16 bl of diesel fuel-water mix was skimmed overnight, the Coast Guard said late yesterday.

Enterprise Products Partners, who operates the propane line, said last week that it experienced a release of propane from a portion of its south Texas pipeline system at the Port of Corpus Christi resulting in a fire. "Enterprise immediately initiated its emergency response plan and has isolated the affected segment of the pipeline," the company said.

Enterprise said today that it has not determined a return to service date for the propane line.

By Eunice Bridges


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