GALVESTON, Texas, July 6 (UPI) -- Tar balls from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have reached shores from Florida to Texas, U.S. and state officials said.
The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration said moderate-to-strong southeasterly winds have been driving oil west with Texas officials the latest to report oil had reached their shores. State officials said tar balls made landfall east of Galveston during the weekend and Monday the substances were confirmed as being from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and leak.
The explosion April 20 on the rig killed 11 workers and caused thousands of barrels of oil a day to be released daily into the gulf. While Louisiana, which was closest to the spill site, has seen the most oil reach shore, oil has also been reported on beaches of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and now Texas.
BP said it has spent more than $3 billion in its efforts to stop and clean up the spill. It has devices in place to capture thousands of barrels of oil still spewing from the well but additional oil is escaping into the gulf. A flotilla of ships worked to skim oil from the surface but weather conditions have limited their effectiveness.
Workers are also drilling relief wells to cut off the flow of oil well below the wellhead. Those wells aren't expected to reach the original well for another month.