NEW ORLEANS (AP) - After days of progress on the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, BP said Wednesday that delays have temporarily stopped work beneath the water on both a stopgap solution and a permanent fix to the gusher.
BP was vague about the reasons for pushing back tests of a new cap meant to trap oil in the well and why it stopped, for up to 48 hours, drilling on a relief well aimed at plugging the gusher for good from underground.
Kent Wells, a senior vice president at the oil giant, said at a morning news briefing that it was the government's call late Tuesday to re-evaluate plans for testing the new cap over the leak. That plan was put on hold for 24 hours.
With oil still gushing freely into the Gulf, Wells said BP and federal officials will re-evaluate the best path forward after the 24 hours.
But he did not commit with certainty to returning to the plan, in place before the late Tuesday delay, to shut the leak off by closing the valves on the new cap. Wells suggested other oil collection options might be redeployed.