About 420 gallons of oil spilled into the Mississippi River, forcing authorities to close part of the waterway after a ship collided with vessel offloading crude in southern Louisiana on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The bulk carrier Privocean broke free from its mooring near Convent at around 4 p.m., hit a towing vessel and then collided with the tank ship Bravo which was carrying the oil, officers added.
“The Mississippi River is closed from mile marker 163 to mile marker 154,” the statement from the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Eight refineries along the Mississippi in that region account for about 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity, according to the U.S. energy information administration.
The plants have said they usually have least a few days’ crude supply on hand to carry through periods when tankers cannot reach them.
Refinery officials were not available for comment.
No injuries were reported and there were no details on when normal river traffic would be resumed.
(Reporting by Anupam Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill and Andrew Heavens)