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US Government: Work Must Continue on Gulf Relief Well

The head of the U.S. government's response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill says BP will continue drilling a relief well to ensure the ruptured well never leaks oil again.

Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said Friday he does not know when work on the well will resume. Work was suspended because of bad weather.

The relief well is in addition to the "static kill" procedure BP completed last week that involved pumping mud and cement into the well from the top.

Meanwhile, Alabama is suing BP, Transocean and Halliburton for what it described as "catastrophic harm" caused by the spill.

In other developments, President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and daughter Sasha are heading to the Gulf coast Saturday and Sunday. While in Flordia, Mr. Obama will meet with officials and try to help boost the region's sagging tourism industry.

BP was leasing the Deepwater Horizon oil rig from Transocean when it exploded and sank. Halliburton did cement work on the well before the rupture.

An April 20 explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 people and ruptured the well, polluting the region's waters and much of the Gulf Coast shoreline. The oil leak was stopped with a temporary cap in mid-July.

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