Theunis Bates
AOL News
July 19, 2010

The U.S. government this morning announced that it will allow BP to keep a cap on its damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well for another 24 hours, after the oil giant promised to closely observe the seabed for evidence a new leak.

On Sunday, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is in charge of the government’s response to the disaster, wrote to BP and demanded an explanation for an unspecified seepage near the 2.5-mile-deep well along with “undetermined anomalies at the well head.”

“When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate, and report findings to the government in no more than four hours,” Allen said in a letter to BP Managing Director Bob Dudley. “I direct you to provide me a written procedure for opening the choke valve as quickly as possible without damaging the well should hydrocarbon seepage near the well head be confirmed.”

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