Federal regulators Wednesday signed off on a deepwater drilling permit for a new Gulf of Mexico well described in an exploration plan approved last week for Shell Offshore Inc.

Shell complied with new safety standards implemented in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill, including satisfying the requirement to demonstrate the capacity to contain a subsea blowout. Shell was permitted to drill a new well in 2,721 ft. water depth, approximately 137 miles off the Louisiana coastline, south of Lafayette.  

“Today’s permit approval represents a culmination of a broad and comprehensive review process involving an exploration plan, a site-specific environmental assessment, and the application for the drilling permit — all of which complied with our rigorous safety and environmental standards,” said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael R. Bromwich. “The completion of this process further demonstrates that we are proceeding as quickly as our resources allow to properly regulate offshore oil and gas operations in the most safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Shell’s permit was issued just as President Barack Obama endorsed for the first time a plan to subsidize the purchase of trucks and fleets that run on domestically produced natural gas. Obama on Wednesday outlined a plan to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, saying his goal is to cut U.S. oil imports by a third by 2025. Read more here.

Read BOEMRE’s press release on the Shell permit here.

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