The federal government's point man on the Gulf of Mexico spill
response says there is no "significant risk" that more oil will
leak into the sea when engineers remove the temporary cap Thursday
that first contained the gusher in mid-July.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Wednesday that vessels
will remain on standby just in case to collect any leaking oil.

He says a break in the weather is expected within the next 24-36
hours, allowing engineers to proceed with the removal of the cap
and then the raising of the blowout preventer, which failed to stop
the oil from leaking in the first place.

That means the blowout preventer could begin being raised late
Thursday or early Friday. Engineers will then proceed with the
final plugging of the blown-out well.

The Deepwater Horizon explosion April 20 killed 11 workers and
led to 206 million gallons of oil spewing from BP's undersea well.

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