DIGEST

BP to test oil well for hydrocarbons during break in drilling relief well

Thursday, August 12, 2010

GULF OF MEXICO

BP to test oil well before 'bottom kill'

The final effort to kill the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico has been delayed until early next week by a passing tropical depression, officials said Wednesday.

During the lull in drilling, BP engineers and government scientists plan to test the well again to try to get a better sense of what's happening out of sight in the well bore. There is one scenario, not considered likely, in which hydrocarbons would be lurking in the space known as the annulus, between the casing and the rock wall of the well bore, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander.

Although that scenario carries no danger of the well's gushing again the way it did before, after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, officials want to make sure that, during the "bottom kill," they don't drive oil up into the blowout preventer. Investigators want to retrieve that device eventually as part of the investigation into what went wrong.

-- Joel Achenbach

AIR TRAVEL

JetBlue makes light of runaway attendant

JetBlue poked fun Wednesday at the attention directed at the case of its flight attendant who cursed out a passenger and then jumped down the plane's emergency slide.

"Perhaps you heard a little story about one of our flight attendants?" the company joked in a blog posting. JetBlue said it will let "people speak on their own behalf" but noted that plenty of others have formed opinions: "Like, the entire Internet."

JetBlue also acknowledged that Steven Slater's action has resonated beyond airline employees.

Slater is currently suspended pending a further investigation. Public comments on the blog overwhelmingly urged JetBlue to give him his job back.


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