"A day that seemed destined for success ended in ambiguity Sunday. The blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico remained shut for the fourth day, but the national incident commander reported concerns about seepage around the well and ordered BP to improve its monitoring of possible problems.
A seep would be a serious setback if it indicated oil or gas escaping from the capped well and burbling up through the seafloor.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen released a letter Sunday night that he had written to BP, noting a "detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head."
He gave permission to keep the well shut but said BP must keep him abreast of any potential problems at the well and prepare to release oil if a serious leak appears. '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 wrote. "