As the Gulf enters its fourth day with the leaking oil well capped, BP and its government overseers are struggling to agree on a long-term plan to keep the crude away. BP’s chief operating officer said on Sunday that he’d like to keep the cap closed for good, but news of a possible seep near the wellhead may prompt a different plan. Admiral Thad Allen, the administration’s response chief, said that the government is sticking to its original plan of eventually opening the well to siphon oil up to the surface, which is a more cautious route, but BP is getting another 24 hours to continue the cap test. In either scenario, the ultimate goal is to permanently fix the leak by drilling a relief well and pumping it with mud and cement. Allen was measured in his comments, expressing relief that the spill was plugged but pledging to "take all appropriate action to keep it that way."
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