The U.S. Coast Guard said that shipping operations at the Southwest Pass, off Louisiana, were not affected by a minor crude oil spill after two crude oil tankers collided on Wednesday evening. "The Coast Guard has established a safety zone around
the incident area. Normal shipping operations will continue outside the safety zone," said the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Morgan City, La. The spill which took place approximately 40 miles south of Grand Isle
, La., was not near the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) as earlier reported, said Mark Bugg, scheduling manager for the LOOP, the only deep-water U.S. oil port and a major conduit for the country's crude oil imports.
The spill occurred when a lightering vessel owned by American Eagle Tankers Inc., the Eagle Carina, collided with a Chevron oil tanker, the J. Dennis Bonney, while preparing to transfer crude oil from the tanker to the lightering vessel, Chevron said in a statement.
"From observations and measurements conducted during the night, it is estimated that approximately 180 to 200 barrels (7,560 to 8,400 gallons) of crude oil were released," Chevron said.