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Christmas Eve oil spill cleanup continues

The Flint Hills Resources crude oil terminal on Corpus Christi Bay in Ingleside was the site of an oil spill on Christmas Eve 2022. Courtesy photo

The response to a light crude oil spill in Corpus Christi Bay continues as workers deploy more than 17,000 feet of boom and 3,000 feet of absorbent pads in an attempt to contain discharge from the Flint Hills Resources crude oil terminal in Ingleside. A pipe failure caused the spill, according to the company. The U.S. Coast Guard received a report of the spill late Christmas Eve.

On Dec. 26, Flint Hills and the Coast Guard estimated the spillage at 90 barrels, or 3,780 gallons, of light crude based on a visual assessment. Four days later, after the terminal’s computers offered more specific data, figures were revised to 335 barrels, or 14,070 gallons. Each barrel of oil equals 42 gallons.

The city of Corpus Christi reported that five dead birds were recovered from the spill area. Earlier reports indicated a turtle was treated for possible exposure.

Cleanup operations continue in Corpus Christi, including near Dock 5 at the Flint Hills terminal, the ship channel, North Beach, Indian Point, Nueces Bay, Rookery Island, and the Dredge Material Placement Area (DMPA10). Although the Corpus Christi ship channel remains open to traffic, the port will require ships to travel slowly near cleanup areas.

More information on the spill's cause will be released after a company investigation. Operations at Ingleside Dock 5, the site of the terminal, have been halted. The public can call in oil sightings to Flint Hills’ resource center at 361-396-2831 or report claims to 1-800-254-1122.

chuck@thepicayune.com

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