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BP Extends Tests On Well Cap

A BP video feed shows a well integrity test for oil leaking in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP has extended its 48-hour trial run of a sophisticated undersea oil well cap that is blocking oil from streaming into the Gulf of Mexico.

Thad Allen, a government official overseeing the cleanup, says BP will continue to monitor the cap for another 24 hours to test its ability to withstand pressure.

Scientists and engineers were optimistic that the well showed no obvious signs of leaks, but were still struggling to understand puzzling data emerging from the bottom of the sea.

If the extended tests are deemed successful, the well would be hooked up again to ships on the surface that would siphon off oil until the well can be permanently sealed. BP officials say they hope they will be able to permanently seal the well in August.

compiled from agency reports