BOEMRE grants sixth deepwater gulf drilling permit

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 25
-- The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement approved a sixth deepwater drilling permit that complies with new safety standards implemented in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.

The approved permit is a revised permit to drill a new well for Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC’s Well No. 1 on Alaminos Canyon Block 810 in 7,134 ft of water, about 216 miles off Texas, south of Texas City.

With the issuance of this most recent permit, BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich acknowledged, “Some say we are now proceeding too quickly; some say we are still proceeding too slowly. The truth is, we are proceeding as quickly as our resources allow to approve permit applications that satisfy our rigorous safety and environmental standards. We will continue to do so.”

Statoil’s Well No. 1 is a new well. The operator had a rig under contract and an approved permit when activities were suspended due to the temporary drilling suspensions imposed following the Deepwater Horizon incident.

As part of its approval process, the bureau reviewed Statoil’s containment capability available for the specific well proposed in the permit application. Statoil has contracted with the Helix Well Containment Group to use its capping stack to stop the flow of oil should a well control event occur.

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