British Petroleum is hoping to resume deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico this summer. The company is in talks with the Interior Department about obtaining permits, The Washington Post reported
The talks come nearly a year since the April 20 disaster on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig leased by BP that killed 11 and spewed oil into the gulf for 87 days. The company is hoping to get permission to begin drilling 10 wells in areas that are already producing oil. The Deepwater Horizon was doing exploratory drilling on a new field, the Post said.
BP pumps some 400,000 barrels a day out of the gulf, making it the largest oil producer in the region. The company is also the largest leaseholder in deep water areas of the gulf. The Post reported that the ongoing discussions are with Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.
Oppenheimer and Sons oil analyst Fadel Gheit said that “many people said BP would be put in the penalty box. I’m not so sure.” In the fall, the government lifted a presidential ban on drilling in the gulf, which accounts for 29 percent of domestic crude oil production, the Post noted.
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