US Says BP Can Drill Again in Gulf of Mexico

Posted October 21st, 2011 at 3:45 pm (UTC-5)
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British oil giant BP has won U.S. approval to restart drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, 18 months after one of its wells exploded in the worst American oil spill and killed 11 workers.

The U.S. government said Friday that BP could drill up to four wells in 1,800-meter deep Keathley Canyon. The site is about 300 kilometers off the southern coast of the country and southwest of the company's ill-fated Macondo well that exploded in April 2010, sending millions of barrels of crude oil into the gulf.

The government has now approved 44 oil exploration plans for the Gulf of Mexico since it imposed tougher safety requirements following the BP disaster. BP still must secure drilling permits before it restarts work.

BP and other companies that worked on the well that exploded still face more than 500 lawsuits from companies and individuals who say they were damaged by the oil spill.