ATP Oil and Gas Corp won approval on March 18th to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. ATP will now be allowed to continue the final phase of drilling a well in 4,000 feet of water at it Telemark Hub.
On Feb. 28, Noble Energy won approval to drill a bypass well in its Santiago prospect and on March 11, BHP Billiton won approval for a deepwater well in its Shenzi prospect. As reported the Interior Department is focusing first on restarting the 57 deep water drilling projects that were already approved before last years spill including 16 that had started drilling. The approval process has been way to slow. As someone who works closely will all aspects of the oil and gas industry, everyone is feeling the slow down. From the top down. You got crews out of work, suppliers not being able to supply the rigs and even the repair shops that keep the equipment running are all feeling the slow down. Heck, we all know marketing is the first to get cut in lean times so yours truly is seeing some website projects put on hold. Its time to put Americans back to work in the Gulf. Safety and Environmental mandates imposed after last years spill can be met. The approval process needs to pick up speed before drillers leave the Gulf for good.