BP Gets Go-Ahead To Start Drilling In Gulf Of Mexico Again

More than a year after the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform that killed 11 people, leaked countless gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and earned BP the title of Worst Company In America, the petroleum giant has received approval from the federal government to begin drilling again in the Gulf.

BP’s permit allows the company to initiate the drilling of its Kaskida field, located about 192 miles off the Louisiana coast.

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, offshore drillers face tougher regulations and more stringent safeguards.

From the L.A. Times:

For instance, BP will use a second set of pipe-cutting shear rams on the blowout preventer that will be used at the new well, doubling opportunities for the device to successfully slash through drill pipe and trap flowing gas and oil underground in case of an emergency. Cameron International, the same Houston-based company that manufactured the blowout preventer used at the Macondo well, built the one installed on the West Sirius rig.

BP happily declared this news as “another milestone in our steady return to safely drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” But there are those people, including Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey who think BP shouldn’t be drilling when it has yet to pay all the penalties associated with the last incident.

“The fact that BP is getting a permit to drill without yet paying a single cent in fines is a disappointment, and does not serve as an effective lesson of deterrence for oil and gas companies,” Markey said.

BP gets OK to drill new deep-water well [L.A. Times]