25 Oil Tankers Stuck In Gulf, Unable To Offload Due To Harvey Port Closures

According to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg, coupled with MarineTraffic real-time tracking, at least 25 tankers carrying almost 17 million barrels of imported crude oil are drifting near Texas and Louisiana ports, unable to offload because of closures from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Source: MarineTraffic

A Bloomberg further details, 20 Aframaxes, 3 VLCCs, 2 Suezmaxes are currently waiting off Texas ports of Corpus Christi, Freeport, Texas City, Houston and Galveston, as well as off Sabine Pass and Lake Charles, Louisiana. This is three more than the 22 ships that were "drifting" on August 28.

Follows a description of the stuck tankers' cargo:

  • 6m bbl Mexican crude, including Maya
  • 4m bbl Saudi oil
  • 3.3m bbl Venezuela crude
  • 2m bbl from Iraq
  • 500k bbl Castilla from Colombia
  • 500k bbl Ostra from Brazil
  • 500k bbl Bonga from Nigeria

Additionally, here is a current status update of the various ports:

Corpus Christi:

  • Port shut since Aug. 24, sees return to normal operations by Sept. 4
  • Refineries planning restarts for this week:
    • Flint Hills may restart as soon as Tuesday
    • Valero, Citgo preparing for restart
  • Oil imports via Corpus Christi in 2016 were 225.8k b/d
    • Top suppliers, according to EIA data compiled by Bloomberg:
    • Venezuela 31%
    • Saudi Arabia 18%
    • Iraq 13%


  • Port shut
  • Phillips 66 Sweeny (247k b/d) shut
  • Oil imports via Freeport in 2016 were 128.6k b/d, of which 98% came from Venezuela and the rest from Saudi Arabia: EIA data


  • Port of Houston still shut, no timeline for reopening
  • Shell Deer Park (316.6k b/d capacity) shut; LyondellBasell (263.8k b/d) cuts rates; Exxon Baytown complex (560.5k b/d), Exxon Beaumont (344.6k b/d), Marathon Galveston Bay (451k b/d) in process of shutting down
  • Oil imports via Houston, largest U.S. port for imported oil, 574.7k b/d in 2016, according to EIA; top suppliers:
    • Mexico 51%
    • Saudi Arabia 15%
    • Colombia 13%

Sabine Pass:

  • Sabine pilots say pass closed since 1pm local time Friday
  • Valero Port Arthur (330k b/d) has reformer, sulfur plant down; Motiva Port Arthur (605k b/d), U.S.’s largest refinery, and Total Port Arthur (225.5k b/d) cut rates
  • Oil imports via Port Arthur in 2016 were 553.1k b/d; top suppliers:
    • Saudi Arabia 37%
    • Venezuela 24%
    • Mexico 20%

Lake Charles:

  • Port shut since Aug. 28
  • Oil imports via Lake Charles in 2016 were 267.3k b/d; top suppliers:
    • Venezuela 46%
    • Saudi Arabia 19%
    • Mexico 12%

Source: Bloomberg