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Aug 14, 2010 2:56 PM

Final plug on Gulf oil leak at least days away

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The government's point man on the Gulf spill wants additional testing before he orders BP to finish drilling a relief well that will allow the oil giant to plug its runaway well for good.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters on Saturday that it could be late Monday or early Tuesday before officials know the results of those tests.

That means it would be Tuesday at the earliest before he gives his final order to proceed with the relief well, and next weekend at the earliest before the relief well intercepts the runaway well.

Allen said the so-called bottom kill operation will be done as originally planned. With the bottom kill, engineers will pump in mud and cement to plug the well from below.

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