HOUSTON, July 24 (Reuters) - Ports serving two out of three Texas refining centers remained shut on Thursday morning due to rough seas from Tropical Storm Dolly.
Neither the U.S. Coast Guard nor ship pilots could estimate when the high winds might calm enough for shipping to resume through the Houston or Corpus Christi ship channels.
In Houston, where ship pilots stopped steering vessels to the busiest U.S. petrochemical port on Wednesday morning, at least 24 ships were waiting to enter the ship channel, the Coast Guard said.
Another 40 ships were waiting to leave through the Houston channel, according to the Coast Guard’s Houston Vessel Traffic Center.
At least 13.5 percent of U.S. refining capacity is supplied through the Houston Ship Channel.
At Corpus Christi, five ships were waiting to enter or exit the channel on Thursday morning, according the Aransas-Corpus Christi ship pilots.
Three refineries with a combined throughput of 784,000 bpd are in Corpus Christi.
Valero Energy Corp VLO.N said on Wednesday its 130,000 barrel per day Houston refinery and 295,000 bpd refinery in Port Arthur would cut production between 10 percent and 20 percent because of the Houston channel closure. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Walter Bagley)
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