The Houston region represented 50 percent of the state's daily crude oil production and more than 13 percent of the nation's total. (Source: Greater Houston Partnership, 2010.) The majority of the industrial activity in the region is along and near the Houston Ship Channel, which is the widened portion of Buffalo Bayou from east of downtown through the Galveston Bay.

Ocean-going vessels in the Houston Ship Channel are primarily (85 percent) tankers transporting goods and products to the major industries along the Port of Houston that make up the largest petrochemical complex in the Western Hemisphere. The Port of Houston is one of the largest ports in the world. More than 225 million tons of cargo is handled along the 53-mile ship channel. The top import commodities include hydrocarbons and petroleum products, crude fertilizers and minerals, iron and steel, and organic and inorganic chemicals. Major export commodities include hydrocarbons and petroleum products, cereals and cereal products, organic and inorganic chemicals and plastics. (Source: Port of Houston Authority) Industrial parks are also located throughout the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin, extending as far west as the Bastrop Bayou Tidal watershed and in the vicinity of Freeport. Most of the industrial activity is centered around the City of Pasadena along the coast to the City of Texas City, where the Texas City Ship Channel sees a great deal of traffic for petroleum feed and stock products.

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