Risks remain with Gulf well cap coming off

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The annulus is an area between the inner piping and the outer casing.

Based on an updated time line Adm. Allen released Wednesday, the blowout preventer could begin being raised late Thursday or early Friday, but Adm. Allen cautioned that that time line could be stretched again if high seas continue to kick up. The final plugging of the well isn’t expected until after Labor Day.

A 12-person government evidence team is waiting to take possession of the blowout preventer when it reaches the surface.

The Deepwater Horizon rig explosion April 20 killed 11 workers and led to 206 million gallons of oil spewing from BP’s undersea well.

BP was leasing the rig from owner Transocean Ltd.

Meanwhile, BP PLC said it has spent more than $5 million a week on advertising since the Gulf oil spill began — more than three times the amount it spent on ads during the same period last year.

BP told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that it spent a total of $93 million on advertising from April to the end of July. The company said the money was intended to keep Gulf Coast residents informed on issues related to the oil spill and to ensure transparency about its actions. The increased spending largely was targeted to TV, newspapers and magazines. A small portion was directed to the Internet.

BP said it actually aired fewer TV spots from April to July than during a similar period last year.

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