Houston Ship Channel pilots halted boarding inbound and outbound vessels overnight after fog reduced visibility on the approach to the largest U.S. petroleum port, according to the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service.
About 12 ships were waiting to enter the port as of 6 a.m. local time after pilots suspended boardings at 8:30 p.m. yesterday, Levi Campbell, a watch supervisor with the service, said in an interview. Some 14 ships were waiting to leave Houston.
Houston tanker traffic also had been interrupted yesterday by fog.
Many U.S. Gulf Coast refiners receive crude supplies by tanker. A prolonged halt may force refiners to reduce operating rates, possibly increasing prices for refined products as companies turn to spot markets to help them meet supply contracts.
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