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WASHINGTON (AFP)--The start of BP PLC's (BP) crucial integrity test of the leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well has been delayed until at least Wednesday, the U.S. official leading the disaster response said.
Adm. Thad Allen, the former U.S. Coast Guard chief, said he had taken the decision to delay the test after meetings with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and other top experts.
"As a result of these discussions, we decided that the process may benefit from additional analysis that will be performed tonight and tomorrow," Allen said in as statement.
BP is poised to test whether a huge 75-ton cap can choke off the leak without threatening the structural integrity of the well.