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Shell’s Ho-Ho Line Shut Pending Inspection, Repairs

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 360,000-barrel-a-day crude oil pipeline from Houma, Louisiana, to Houston remains shut until repairs and an inspection by U.S. regulators have finished, according to Bill Tanner, company spokesman.

The conduit, known as the Ho-Ho pipeline system, makes deliveries to refineries in Texas and Louisiana with a combined capacity of more than 1.2 million barrels, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The line was shut Nov. 16 after a leak was identified near Vinton, Louisiana, in Calcasieu Parish, according to Shell. About 1,030 barrels of oil spilled from the line, according to an operator estimate, said Damon Hill, a spokesman for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Transportation Department.

PHMSA has inspectors on the ground at the crude oil leak site conducting an investigation, Hill said Nov. 19. “Any restart decisions will not be made until PHMSA and Shell knows more about the facts related to the incident,” Hill said last week. He didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail today.

The leak occurred in an “undeveloped area” about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Port Arthur, Texas, according to a Shell statement.


The Ho-Ho system delivers crude to refineries operated by Citgo Petroleum Corp. and ConocoPhillips in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Motiva Enterprises LLC and Total SA in Port Arthur, according to Shell’s website.

Tanner, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail asking if any production was shut-in as a result of the pipeline shutdown or if any refineries were affected.

Pat Avery, a spokeswoman for Total, said the pipeline shutdown had no effect on operations at the company’s Port Arthur plant.

Bill Stephens, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail asking if the company’s Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery was affected. Fernando Garay, a spokesman for Citgo, said he was looking into whether the company’s Lake Charles refinery was affected.

The Ho-Ho system can also connect to Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Baytown, Texas, refinery via third-party pipelines, according to Shell’s map of the system. Neely Nelson, a spokeswoman for the Baytown refinery, said the plant wasn’t affected.

The Houma terminal can accept crude from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, according to Shell’s website. Barb Hestermann, a spokeswoman for the port, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail asking if the port was affected.

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