Researchers from Auburn University said so-called tar balls stirred up by storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico have "essentially" the same chemical composition as hydrocarbons reported along the coast after the April 2010 oil disaster, London's Daily Telegraph newspaper reports.
A gas explosion sunk the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last year, killing 11 workers and causing one of the worst oil spills in the history of the industry.
BP, the London newspaper reported, said it would continue dispatching crews to the gulf as reports of oil emerged.
Meanwhile, an environmental coalition led by the National Wildlife Fund praised a U.S. Senate committee for backing legislation that would ensure penalties from the gulf disaster would be used for environmental restoration and economic recovery in the area.
"The damage from the oil spill was done in the gulf and now the Senate needs to take quick action to make sure that the oil spill penalties go to restoring the gulf region," read a joint statement from the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, and Oxfam America.