Barge operator Kirby faces long legal haul over Galveston spill

|About: Kirby Corporation (KEX)|By:, SA News Editor

Resolving legal issues arising from the Galveston Bay oil spill that shut traffic at the Houston Ship Channel for days will require years of litigation and cost tens of millions of dollars, experts say.

Kirby Corp. (KEX +0.3%), which owned and operated the barge that spilled 168K gallons of fuel after Saturday's collision, faces potential federal fines, cleanup costs and damage payments to residents and businesses.

The U.S. government has notified Kirby that it is the responsible party for the spill under federal law; If the company believes other entities played a role in causing the spill, it would have to sue to seek reimbursement for a portion of any penalties or damages it pays.