Science, Engineering Teams Assessing BP Well

The anticipated bottom kill on the once-gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well may not have to be done, BP said Friday. But the company said that is a low probability. Scientists and BP engineers were looking at pressure tests conducted Thursday and were to announce their decision Friday. The relief well that would be used for the bottom kill is likely to be completed in any case, BP told CNN Friday. But cement and other materials forced into the well during the "static kill" procedure could have gotten into a core area of the well, making the bottom kill unnecessary, it said. The pressure tests and further investigation -- through continuation of drilling the relief well -- should tell scientists and engineers for sure, BP said. As they await answers about the condition of the well, businesses in the Gulf Coast are hoping high-profile visitors will help boost local economies.President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, plan to travel to the region this weekend to support businesses that have been devastated by the oil disaster. One of their daughters, Sasha, will join them for the trip. The other daughter, Malia, is at a camp and will not make the trip, a senior administration official said. The family will leave Saturday morning for Panama City Beach, Florida. "Even as the president talks about what our next steps are in our response, obviously part of this will be highlighting the tremendous economic toll that has taken place," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters earlier this week. Visitors spent more than $34 billion in 2008 in congressional districts along the Gulf Coast, sustaining 400,000 jobs. The effects of the oil spill on the region's travel industry could last up to three years and cost up to $22.7 billion, according to an analysis conducted last month by Oxford Economics for the U.S. Travel Association.
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/08/13/gulf.oil.disaster/?hpt=T1#fbid=HgifhajXKC7&wom=false