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BP on the lookout after seep warning

July 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

NEW ORLEANS, July 19 (UPI) -- Monitoring of an underwater containment system is proceeding as expected amid concerns over a seep below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, BP said Monday.

U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, national incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon response, during the weekend ordered BP to inform the federal government about a seep detected downstream for the containment system capturing oil from a broken well.

"Given the current observations from the test, including the detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head, monitoring of the seabed is of paramount importance during the test period," said Allen in a letter to BP.

BP in a statement Monday said its engineers were examining the integrity of the system to determine if the operations were to continue.

BP last week was able to place a cap over the broken underwater riser, stopping the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon oil platform caught fire and sank in April.

Allen said that despite the initial success of the containment system, the oil company should be prepared for any event.

"I remain concerned that all potential options to eliminate the discharge of oil be pursued with utmost speed until I can be assured that no additional oil will spill from the Macondo well," his statement read.

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