The fourth deepwater drilling permit allowed by the Obama administration since lifting the ban has been given to oil giant ExxonMobile to begin new well drilling operations in 6,941 feet of water, located approximately 240 miles off Louisiana’s coastlin
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has announced approval of its fourth deepwater drilling permit on Tuesday, giving ExxonMobile the green light to proceed with an operation it had been given prior approval before last year’s disastrous BP Deepwater Horizon incident claimed 11 workers’ lives, unleashed an assault on the Gulf of Mexico’s biodiversity, and suspended its new well activities.
In an agency statement, BOEMRE director Michael Bromwich said: “Today’s permit approval is the fourth to be approved in the month since the industry confirmed its capability to contain a deepwater loss of well control and blowout. We will continue to review and approve applications that demonstrate the ability to operate safely in deep water.”
The new permit is the first to use the Marine Well Containment Company’s (MWCC) oil containment system. The MWCC is an oil company coalition developing undersea containment technology, The Hill reports.
“As we have seen, the rate of deepwater permit applications is increasing, which reflects growing confidence in the industry that it understands and can comply with the applicable requirements, including the containment requirement. We expect additional permit approvals in the near future,” Bromwich added.
The new permit comes on the heals of one issued by BOEMRE less than a week ago to Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas Corp.