US-based LLOG Exploration Offshore is set to restart deep-water drilling near the site of the Deepwater Horizon, after an accident in 2010, killing 11 people.
In April, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued permits to the oil company to drill a new well near the site where the energy-giant BP’s disaster took place.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved LLOG’s exploration plan in October 2014 after conducting an environmental review.
LLOG deep-water projects vice-president Rick Fowler told the Associated Press (AP) that the company remains committed, and will not allow reoccurrence of such events.
As part of its plans, the company will extract oil and gas deep under the Gulf of Mexico’s seafloor by drilling into Block 252 from an adjacent block, using the semisubmersible drilling rig Sevan Louisiana.
The rig is owned by Norway-based Sevan Drilling.
LLOG, which has drilled eight wells in the Mississippi Canyon area since 2010, has drilled over 50 wells in the gulf since 2002.
The Deepwater Horizon explosion dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.The incident took place in April 2010, when the Transocean-owned Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) exploded after experiencing a series of problems.
BP hired the rig to drill into the Macondo field, around 60km southeast of the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
Image: Oil rig Deepwater Horizon explosion. Photo: courtesy of Mark Miller