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Some Activities Resume at Gulf of Mexico Oil Well Site

Officials with oil company BP say some activities have resumed at the site of the ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well, after tropical weather forced a halt to work there.

BP spokesman Elizabeth Adams said Thursday that crews are preparing to resume drilling the relief well, considered the final step in permanently sealing the ruptured well.

U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Mariana O'Leary said, however, the weather along the Louisiana coastline remains poor. She said clean-up operations on beaches and along the shoreline are not expected to resume Thursday.

The National Weather Service says the tropical weather system that stalled the clean-up effort is moving inland and is expected to weaken later in the day.

National Incident Commander Thad Allen said the storm delay would set back completion of the relief well until early next week.

Allen said Wednesday a slight possibility exists that the so-called "bottom kill" operation may not be necessary. He said testing still needs to be performed on the well to make that determination.

Allen said BP and the federal government will check to see whether cement pumped in through the top of the well went down into the reservoir, came back up and then plugged the space between the inner piping and the outer casing. If so, the relief well effort may not be needed.

The April 20 explosion on the rig operated by BP killed 11 people and ruptured the well, sending millions of barrels of oil into the water, polluting the region's waters and much of the Gulf Coast shoreline. The well was fitted with a temporary cap in mid-July.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.