BP Plc delayed retrieval of the failed blowout preventer atop its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well this week because of bad weather, the top U.S. official overseeing the oil spill said on Monday.

We are in a weather hold right now, Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, noting seas were 6 to 6 feet high at the site of the Macondo well.

He said bad weather is expected to last two to three days. The blowout preventer retrieval had been slated for Tuesday or Wednesday. (Reporting by Kristen Hays)