ABOARD THE RESOLUTE, 40 miles off Louisiana — Workers on surface ships continued to flare gas and oil on Wednesday at the site of BP’s runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico after officials announced that a critical pressure test on the well would be postponed.
Kent Wells, a senior BP vice president, said scientists from the industry and government were reviewing the test procedures. “This test is so important that a decision was made to give them another 24 hours,” he said at a Wednesday morning briefing in Houston. “We don’t want to end up with a test with inconclusive results.”
He said that drilling of a relief well that is considered the ultimate solution to stopping the gusher would be halted during the test as a precaution.
Mr. Wells said that a decision about the test would be made at midday and that it would probably begin Thursday. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu has been involved, he said. The decision to delay the test was made Tuesday afternoon by Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is the federal commander of the spill response.