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Aug 2, 2010 4:34 AM

Testing for Gulf spill kill effort is delayed

NEW ORLEANS (AP) BP says engineers have delayed until Tuesday a test on whether it can begin pumping mud into the blown-out Gulf of Mexico well in hopes of choking it for good.

The company said in a statement Monday the test was pushed back a day after a small leak was discovered in the hydraulic control system.

The test will last several hours. It involves probing the busted blowout preventer with an oil-like liquid to decide if it can handle the static kill process.

If the test is successful, the company plans to start slowly pumping the heavy mud down the well as early as Tuesday.

BP engineers say the static kill may permanently plug the well but they may not know for sure until they finish a relief well in another week or so.

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