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July 19th, 2010
05:20 AM ET

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Scientists look at whether to resume collecting oil from BP's ruptured deepwater well after a seep was detected in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Monday."]

After seep detected, BP reconsiders collection of oil

(CNN) – Testing continues and scientists are evaluating the results to decide whether to resume collecting oil from BP's ruptured deepwater well, the company said Monday.

BP's statement came hours after Thad Allen, the federal government's oil spill response director, said that testing had revealed a "detected seep a distance from the well." He ordered the company to quickly notify the government if other leaks were found.

"When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate, and report findings to the government in no more than four hours," Allen said in a letter to BP Chief Managing Director Bob Dudley released late Sunday.

BP's statement Monday did not mention the leak, but said the company was carrying out extensive monitoring activities around the well site. Allen's did not provide further details about where the leak was spotted or how big it is.

Allen said earlier Sunday that testing would determine whether keeping the well capped was the right solution. Pressure testing results in the well have been lower than expected, he said, which means oil could be leaking out from below.

"While we are pleased that no oil is currently being released into the Gulf of Mexico and want to take all appropriate action to keep it that way, it is important that all decisions are driven by the science," he said. "Ultimately, we must ensure no irreversible damage is done which could cause uncontrolled leakage from numerous points on the sea floor." Read more

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