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Shell Obtains Permit to Drill in Deep-Water Gulf


HOUSTON—U.S. regulators have granted approval for Royal Dutch Shell PLC to drill a new well in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico as part of the oil company’s recently approved exploration plan for the area.

This marks the first time since last year’s Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that the government has approved plans to drill new oil-and-gas resources. Previously, regulators had approved only wells that were being drilled at the time the administration’s moratorium went into effect.

The approved permit allows Shell to drill a well in Garden Banks Block 427 in water depth of 2,721 feet, approximately 137 miles off the Louisiana coastline, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said Wednesday.

In order to receive the permit approval, Shell complied with safety standards implemented in the wake of the 2010 spill, including satisfying the requirement to demonstrate the capacity to contain a subsea blowout, the government said. Shell’s deep-water exploration plan was approved this month.

Shell will use the Marine Well Containment Co. containment system as its oil spill containment solution. The system was built by a nonprofit consortium of large oil companies led by Exxon Mobil Corp.

Write to Isabel Ordonez at [email protected]

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