Shell moves closer on new drilling plans for Gulf
NEW ORLEANS — Federal regulators have put oil giant Shell one step closer to final approval to drill three new exploratory deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the project 130 miles off
the Louisiana coast meets strict safety and environmental
Shell Offshore Inc., a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, proposes
to drill three exploratory wells in roughly 2,950 feet of water.
What was announced Monday was an intermediate step and not final
approval to drill. A drilling permit will be required for that.
A moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf imposed after
last year's BP oil spill was lifted Oct. 12, but the government has
only recently begun issuing permits again for previously suspended