BP Plc received permission from U.S. regulators for oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, the first approval since the company’s Macondo well caused the nation’s worst offshore spill last year.
The company must obtain a drilling permit before work can begin, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which announced approval of the company’s exploration plan today in an e-mailed statement.
BP Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley is seeking to revive U.S. output in the Gulf as the lack of new wells drags down production. The London-based company waited almost a year to submit drilling plans while it reviewed safety after President Barack Obama in October 2010 lifted a moratorium on deep-water work imposed after the spill.
Starting work in the Gulf is part of Dudley’s campaign to repair BP’s standing with investors, regulators and the U.S. public. The company wrote off $41 billion in costs related to the spill caused by a blowout on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 people.
BP reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 25.
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