BP Delays Crucial Test of New Cap on Gulf Oil Well


BP (BP) delayed a crucial test that will determine if it can close a new cap on the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The London-based oil giant delayed tests that were meant to assess whether the well can handle the pressure of closing the cap at the wellhead, Reuters reported. The test was scheduled for Tuesday.

"We decided that the process may benefit from additional analysis that will be performed tonight and tomorrow," retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the U.S. response to the spill, said in a statement Tuesday.

There is no indication when the tests, which could last as long as 48 hours, will be carried out.

Even if the new cap should fail, authorities expect the company to be able to siphon off as much as 80,000 barrels of oil a day from the busted well by mid-July.

As the costs of the clean up operation mount, BP is considering selling some assets to raise funds. The oil giant is "in discussions with a number of companies about a number of assets," spokeswoman Sheila Williams told Reuters.