National/World

Gov't gives BP approval to drill in Gulf

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

U.S. officials have given BP the go-ahead to drill a new deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico, its first such permit since last year's catastrophic oil spill.

Regulators said Wednesday BP has met strict safety requirements implemented after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The proposed exploratory well is located roughly 246 miles south of Lafayette, La., in water more than 6,000 feet deep. That's about 1,000 feet deeper than BP's Macondo well that blew out in April 2010, killing 11 rig workers and leading to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

This is BP's first permit to drill, but the company has been active in the Gulf for months.

Other companies have also received deepwater permits in recent months.

Environmentalists and some congressional Democrats have objected to allowing BP to return to the Gulf.

BP released a statement Wednesday morning which read, "After several months of hard work developing and implementing our new drilling standards and sharing those standards with industry partners and regulators, we are pleased to have received a permit to drill another appraisal well in the Kaskida Field. This fourth deepwater permit is another milestone in our steady return to safely drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."

We'll have more this afternoon on Eyewitness News.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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