Published: Jul 21, 2010 5:28 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 21, 2010 2:27 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Storms are threatening to delay BP's undersea efforts to permanently plug the leaky well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The federal government's oil spill chief says if a storm moves into the Gulf, ships would have to leave and BP couldn't observe the capped well.

Officials could decide to open the cap that's choked off the flow of oil for nearly a week.