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BP pledges to watch for new oil leaks

GULF OF MEXICO — The federal government’s point man for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill says he’s authorized BP to keep the cap on its damaged well for another 24 hours after the company pledged to closely monitor the seafloor for signs of a new leak.

In a statement issued today, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says a federal science team held a conference call with BP representatives last night. He says the scientists got answers they wanted about how BP is monitoring the seabed in case any new leaks erupt from the capped well.

Allen had written BP the day before to say a seep had been detected a distance from the well and demanded BP step up monitoring of the seabed.

Allen says in his statement today that he’ll only allow the cap to stay on if BP continues meeting its obligations to watch for signs that it could possibly worsen the situation.

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