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NEW ORLEANS – A pivotal moment in the Gulf oil crisis hit an unexpected snag Tuesday evening when officials announced they needed more time before they could begin choking off the geyser of crude at the bottom of the sea.
BP and federal officials did not say what prompted the decision or when the testing would begin on a new, tighter-fitting cap it had just installed on the blown-out well. The oil giant had been scheduled to start slowly shutting off valves on the 75-ton cap, aiming to stop the flow of oil for the first time in three months.