U.S. gov’t approves BHP Billiton drill permit

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has granted BHP Billiton’s permit to drill, allowing the company to resume works at its Shenzi platform, which has been suspended following oil leaks at BP’s Macondo well.

The United States government has signed a new drill permit allowing BHP Billiton to resume drilling operations following the worst oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to BHP spokesperson Ruban Yogarajah, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has signed the permit to drill, which would allow the company to resume drilling operations at its production well some 120 miles off the Louisiana coastline.

It was the second permit issued by the government following the drilling ban in the area.

It will be recalled that U.S. government issued a moratorium on all drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Macondo well exploded causing major environmental disaster in the surrounding coastlines.

The Macondo well was located some 150 miles northeast of Shenzi.

The moratorium was lifted in October 2010 after new guidelines were set to increase safety of offshore drilling.

In February 28, the BOEM issued the first drilling permit to Noble Energy

BHP’s Shenzi platform was located in Green Canyon Blocks 653, 654, 609 and 610. It was discovered in 2002, and has started production in March 2009.

The platform has a maximum capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil and 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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