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Greenpeace protest closes part of Houston Ship Channel

Houston — A portion of the Houston Ship Channel closed early Thursday morning local time because of Greenpeace activists suspended from the Fred Hartman Bridge in a protest ahead of Democratic Party debate later in the day near downtown Houston.

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A tweet from the environmental group showed a person suspended from the bridge and said "Greenpeace activists are in Houston blocking the largest oil export channel in the country to confront the oil industry."

A portion of the ship channel remains closed with one inbound and two outbound ships holding their positions, according to the Coast Guard.

The Harris County Sheriff Office tweeted that it is aware of demonstrations on the bridge and is monitoring the situation with other public safety partners.

Markets were assessing the impact of the closure. "[There are two VLGCs ballasting in front of the channel's entrance and expect two laden ones to depart from Targa and Enterprise by the end of today. So if the channel is re-opened today, it will have almost no impact on the LPG side," a source said.

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--Matthew Eversman, matthew.eversman@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com