SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

BP reports oil progress amid tar discovery


May 18, 2010

KEY WEST, Fla.,(UPI) -- Twenty tar balls found on a beach in Key West, Fla., are being tested to determine if they came from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said.

The tar balls, ranging in size from 3 inches to 8 inches, were found along the shore of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday night.

Meanwhile, BP oil company officials said Tuesday a 4-inch diameter tube placed in one of the leaks was operational and estimated to be carrying about 2,000 barrels of oil a day to the surface for collection on a ship.

Other containment options continued to be explored, including injecting heavy fluids into the well to stem the flow of gas and oil, BP said in a statement.

Scientists were in disagreement on whether oil from the spill had entered a powerful ocean current known as the loop current, which potentially could spread oil to the Florida Keys, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

BP said it was awarding grants to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to help promote tourism in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill. Florida was to receive $25 million and Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana $15 million each.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he would use the money "to spread the word that Florida's beaches are clean, our fish are biting and the Sunshine State is open for business."


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