BP files first US Gulf drill plan since Macondo

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2011 11:33 AM
BP files first US Gulf drill plan since Macondo

HOUSTON (Reuters) - BP PLC has filed an oil exploration plan with the U.S. government for the Gulf of Mexico, a spokesman confirmed Friday, and analysts say the filing is the first since the Macondo oil spill in 2010.

"We have filed a supplemental exploration plan," a BP spokesman confirmed. "Obviously, we had an exploration plan and we've added to it."

The filing is a first for BP since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank in April 2010 while finishing BP's Macondo well offshore of Louisiana, killing 11 workers and triggering the worst U.S. marine oil spill.

The accident triggered a moratorium temporarily halting Gulf drilling and led to big changes in the way the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management regulates oil and gas exploration.

Other companies have had exploration and drilling plans approved since the accident, but not BP.

BOEM had no immediate comment.

The filing is for further appraisal of the 2006 Kaskida discovery in the Keathley Canyon area. An appraisal well in 2009 confirmed oil in the highly touted Lower Tertiary plan in the Gulf.

"This well builds on the success of our recent Tiber discovery to further strengthen BP's leading position in the emerging Lower Tertiary plan in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico," BP executive Andy Inglis said at the time.

(Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by David Gregorio)