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Texas Oil Spill Cleanup Snarls Shipping Lane

A vessel surrounded by a sheen on the water near the Port of Galveston on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston, Texas. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove oil that spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/ Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool) Smiley N. Pool / Houston Chronicle via AP

The Coast Guard could soon reopen the Houston Ship Channel that was the scene of an oil spill over the weekend.

The channel is one of the nation's busiest seaports. Coast Guard Warrant Officer Kimberly Smith says the goal is to reopen part of it sometime Monday. The closure has forced more than 80 ships to wait to enter or leave the bay.

Smith says officials are still trying to determine how much oil spilled Saturday, when a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons collided with a ship. Authorities initially said as much as a fifth of the barge's cargo spilled.

— The Associated Press

Image: Oil Barge Accident
The Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas and the Carnival Magic sit idle with dozens of other ships off the coast of Galveston, Texas on Sunday. Smiley N. Pool / Houston Chronicle via AP

Image:
Workers try to move oil containment boom from the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle via AP

Image:
A dead oil covered bird is shown on the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle via AP