First Deep Water Drilling Permit since BP Oil Spill Issued

Mar 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Green Living

Noble Energy received approval from the federal government to resume drilling at its Santiago prospect in the deepwater off the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced Monday. It was the first deepwater drill permit the government has issued since the BP Oil Spill, which forced the Santiago well to suspend operations in June 2010.

G136 DeepwaterDrilling 300x225 First Deep Water Drilling Permit since BP Oil Spill IssuedThe permit was issued after Noble Energy passed a safety demonstration, BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich said. “This permit was issued for one simple reason: the operator successfully demonstrated that it can drill its deepwater well safely and that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur.”

The permit is for is for Well #2 in Mississippi Canyon Block 519, which is located approximately 70 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. The well is located in 6,500 feet of water, and had been drilled to a depth of 13,585 feet before the suspension of operations. The resumed drilling will target a total depth of approximately 19,000 feet.

Drilling is expected to resume in late March 2011. Results are anticipated by the end of May 2011.

The announcement sent Noble Energy stock skyrocketing to a 52-week high Monday. Noble stock traded at $92.48, compared with its previous 52-Week high of $92.16.

The permit is a breakthrough heralding more approvals in weeks to come, Bromwich said. “We expect further deepwater permits to be approved in coming weeks and months based on the same process that led to the approval of this permit,” he said.

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