Federal regulators Monday issued the first deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf since the April moratorium, and more are promised this week. Federal regulators Monday issued the first deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf since the April moratorium, and more are promised this week.
Because Noble Energy Inc.'s permit meets new standards imposed after the BP disaster, its permit was approved, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced.
Since the moratorium was lifted in mid-October, the agency has been saying companies lacked equipment to respond to similar disasters.
"This permit represents a significant milestone for us and for the offshore oil and gas industry, and is an important step towards safely developing deep-water energy supplies offshore," Michael R. Bromwich, the agency director, said in a statement Monday.
Noble, based in Houston, plans to drill a bypass well to avoid a mechanical flaw in previous drilling at a site about 70 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the statement.
Bloomberg reported that Noble Energy's stock rose as much as $3.73, or 4.2 percent, to $92.92 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading after the announcement.
The celebrated news comes a day after The Times-Picayune published the story, "Latecomer to Gulf oil spill cleanup says it now has the answer in any future disasters." In it, Helix Energy Group, which was unable to find an immediate solution for BP last summer, says it now has an improved system that will be able to do the whole job in a couple of weeks if another major blowout happens. Read it here.