06-29-2006, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Ships have been stranded, seafood sources threatened and the nation's oil reserve tapped as the result of 47,000 barrels of oil spilling into a southwestern Louisiana shipping channel, forcing its closure.
"For this area, it's a major spill. They haven't had anything like this in 20 years," Chief Warrant Officer Adam Wine of the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.
The June 19 spill at a Citgo Petroleum Corp. refinery in Lake Charles forced the closure of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, a key lane for transporting petroleum in and out of the region's four refineries. About 11 miles of the channel remained closed Thursday. The entire 40 miles to the Gulf of Mexico had been closed.
About 31,000 barrels had been cleaned up by Thursday, the Coast Guard said. A Citgo spokesman said the clean up was going well partly because a lack a wind kept oil patches in place and the dry, sunny weather was evaporating much of the oil.