Corpus Christi oil spill 3.5 times larger than originally reported

Updated reports show around 14,000 gallons of oil spilled, up from the previous estimate of 3,800 gallons. Flint Hills has not yet determined the cause.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — More than 14,000 gallons of light crude oil spilled into Corpus Christi Bay near Ingleside during the late Christmas Eve oil spill. That’s 10,000 gallons more than originally reported.

Flint Hills Resources’ revised estimate Friday came after the US Coast Guard found more oil in an area of ​​North Beach on Thursday.

“Flint Hills has mobilized resources, assessed the area and taken steps to recover material from the affected areas. Crews are also staying on site in Ingleside where this cleanup is continuing,” the company said in a statement.

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At least two dead birds were pulled from the oil spill in the Ingleside area, Flint Hills Resources said. A turtle is also treated for possible exposure.

Flint Hills is asking residents of Corpus Christi to report oil sheen or other material they see in Corpus Christi Bay to authorities.

To date, Flint Hills has deployed more than 17,000 feet of booms and 3,000 absorbent pads and says it will deploy more as the need arises.

Why was the new estimate so much higher?

The US Coast Guard and Flint Hills Resources initially estimated that 90 barrels of light crude oil had spilled into Corpus Christi Bay’s La Quinta Channel. She provided those estimates on December 26. Each barrel contains 42 gallons of oil, so the original estimate was 3,780 gallons, which officials rounded to 3,800.

The original estimate was “based on an initial surface estimate of material discovered near the docks at Ingleside Bay,” Flint Hills said.

Then on Friday, that estimate was revised down to 335 barrels or 14,070 gallons spilled.

“The revised estimate reflects the results of an additional analysis of data from the terminal’s operations and data control center.”

In layman’s terms, crews eyed the initial estimate, but received the larger number of computers that showed more accurately how much oil was lost.

So far, Flint Hills has not determined the cause of the spill, saying it is still under investigation. The dock where the spill occurred remains offline.

You can find the original story by clicking here.

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Laura Coffey

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