Tar balls from oil spill reach the Texas Coast

About a dozen tar balls that washed ashore on Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula coastline have been identified as oil from the BP Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the first evidence that oil from the spill has reached the Texas coastline.

For now, it remains unclear whether the oil from the blowout dropped off a passing ship or drifted nearly 400 miles.  Officials are investigating whether the tar balls were from oil that clung to the hull of a ship passing through the BP oil slick or were from ballast water taken on by a ship in the oil slick zone and later dumped in Texas waters. Either way, the far-reaching impact of BP’s tremendous oil spill are being seen now across the entire Gulf Coast.

Laboratory tests showed that the tar balls came from the BP Macondo well that blew out April 20, killing 11 crew members on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

The handful of tar balls came ashore Saturday and a second wave amounting to about 5 gallons of oil was found Sunday scattered along 1½ miles of beach on eastern Galveston Island and Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula. The dozen tar balls found in the surf Saturday ranged from the size of a dime to a golf ball.

An onslaught of tar balls on Galveston’s beaches will prove disastrous for the island city’s tourism economy, which is only now starting to fully rebound from Hurricane Ike damage and subsequent rebuilding.

The Coast Guard had believed the oil from the BP spill would not reach Galveston.  Since BP seems unable to stop the gushing flow of the well, however, the oil spill’s reach will only grow greater in the weeks to come.  As Texas maritime lawyers, the failure of BP to control its blown-out well deeply concerns us.  BP has already contributed to the deaths of 11 men in this accident and injured many more offshore workers, crewmembers, and local Gulf Coast businesses.

T&T Marine, a Galveston company contracted to do oil cleanup, used shovels to pick up the tar balls.

For more information on how to file your Gulf of Mexico oil spill claim or help with handling your Deepwater Horizon injury or death claims, please contact our experienced maritime lawyers (100 years combined taking your injury cases to trial) today at [email protected]. We are here to help you make the right decisions for your claims, and will speak with you free of charge and without obligation, confidentially until you are ready to make a firm decision.