Oil Plug Attempt Nears; Relief Well Role Unclear

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The government's point man on the Gulf oil spill says several minor leaks have sprung near the blown-out well.

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Monday that engineers are working to repair the leaks and that they will not delay the effort to plug the gusher for good.

He says BP crews plan to test whether the company can proceed with its "static kill" plan. That involves pumping mud and perhaps cement down the throat of the mile-deep busted well.

He says the process could take more than two days to complete.

He and BP executives also say it's uncertain how a pair of relief wells would be used to ultimately kill the oil leak.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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