BHP Billiton has received a permit from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to drill a deepwater well at its Shenzi Project in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The company was given access to drill a 15th development well in Green Canyon 653 at a water depth of 4,232ft, located 120 miles from the coast of Louisiana.

The permit is in line with the Development Operations Coordination Document that was approved on 31 May 2011.

The Shenzi field is operated by BHP, which owns a 44% stake in the project, and Hess and Repsol each own 28%.