Seepage Detected from Another Well Near Capped Leak

The federal government's oil spill chief said Tuesday that seepage two miles from BP's oil cap is coming from another well, tamping down fears that leaks from the ruptured well mean it's unstable.

Retired Coast GuardAdm. Thad Allen also said five leaks in and around BP's well are more like "drips," and aren't yet cause for concern.

The new discovery of seepage near the plugged BP well has alarmed federal officials who have warned the company to rigorously monitor the seabed. BP must be prepared to reopen the well immediately if scientists find evidence of spin-off leakage near the oil cap, according to a testy official apparently frustrated by BP's earlier failure to respond to requests for information. "When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate, and report findings to the government in no more than 4 hours," fed oil response chief Thad Allen wrote in a letter to BP.