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Thick Pools of Oil Wash Up on North Fla. Coast

Thick pools of oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico washed up along miles of Pensacola Beach overnight.

Dozens of workers used shovels Wednesday to scoop up the oil and orange-tinged sand. There were a few sunbathers at the beach, but no one was in the water.

Tar balls have been reported as far west as Panama City and heavier oil is predicted to wash ashore further east along the coast line in the coming days.

Officials also toured the beach. Gov. Charlie Crist said he called for more skimmers and was disheartened so much oil had slipped through the skimming operation.

Crist said the problem was the vast amount of the coastline that had to be protected.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of gallons more oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after an undersea robot bumped a venting system and forced BP to remove a cap that had been containing some of the crude.

When the robot bumped the system, gas rose through the vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

The cap was removed and crews were checking to see if crystals had formed before putting it back on. Allen did not say how long that might take.

"There's more coming up than there had been, but it's not a totally unconstrained discharge," Allen said.

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Sources: Gov't Report Says Subsea Oil a Problem
Judge Who Tossed Drilling Ban an Oil Investor
Judge Blocks Offshore Drilling Moratorium
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