NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — BP PLC said Tuesday (5/18) it’s recovering some 2,000 barrels of oil a day from the leak of an estimated 5,000 barrels a day gushing from a broken well pipe in the Gulf of Mexico, as the cost of the spill mushroomed to $625 million thus far. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said 20 tar balls ranging in size from three to eight inches were found on the shores of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West, Fla., but it’s not clear yet if they came from the BP spill.

Park rangers had recovered the tar balls at a rate of nearly three an hour throughout Monday. The Coast Guard said samples of the tar balls will be shipped to a laboratory for analysis to determine the origin of the source. It’s not clear if the tar balls came from the BP spill.

President Barack Obama will establish the commission by executive order, the Associated Press reported, citing an administration official.

UPDATE : BP – “They aren’t our Balls…”(5/19/10)

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that tar balls found in Key West, Fla. in recent days don’t match the chemical composition of oil leaking from the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. A sampling of tar balls discovered on beaches at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Fla., Smathers Beach in Key West, Big Pine Key, Fla., and Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park, Fla. were flown on Tuesday by a Coast Guard jet to New London, Conn. for testing and analysis. “The results of those tests conclusively show that the tar balls collected from Florida Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” the Coast Guard said. “The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.”

“The results of those tests conclusively show that the tar balls collected from Florida Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” the statement said. “The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.”

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