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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/15/oil.water.art.jpg caption="An oil coated containment boom is seen close to the shore."]
Leak in equipment delays BP's efforts to stop massive oil gusher
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - A leak in a crucial piece of equipment may stall BP's effort to stop the massive oil gusher Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico.
The equipment, called a choke line, started leaking Wednesday, another setback for the beleaguered company in its hope of stopping the disaster. The company will need to fix the leak before it can run the vital tests that could show whether an end to the environmental disaster is finally in sight, the company said.
There was no timetable for when the leak was to be fixed, a company spokesman said early Thursday morning.
And video images of the busted oil well showed a continuous flow of ominous dark oil streaming from the ocean floor.
Even before the new delay, the process had been stalled.
U.S. officials told BP on Tuesday to proceed with an "integrity" test on the well.
But the test was delayed for a day, according to Retired Adm. Thad Allen, who is heading the government's response to the oil spill.
Allen said the officials "sat long and hard about delaying the test" and it was "not easy" to decide to delay. He said they wanted to make sure they're "getting this right" for this "significant event."
Allen added the delay was not prompted by the White House. Read More
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