National

Jul 14, 2010 8:26 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Testing delayed on oil well cap

BP is delaying critical tests on a new well cap designed to finally stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico after government officials said more analysis was needed on the plan.

BP engineers were scheduled to start slowly shutting off valves on the 75-ton metal stack of pipes and valves, aiming to stop the flow of oil for the first time in three months. A series of preliminary steps were completed, including mapping the seafloor.

National Incident Commander Thad Allen said in a statement Tuesday night the process "may benefit from additional analysis" that would be performed overnight and Wednesday. He did not say when the tests would start.

The decision was reached after Allen met with federal officials, scientists and geologists.

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