Drilling To Start at Macondo Reservoir

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Deep-water drilling is set to resume near the site of the catastrophic BP PLC well blowout that killed 11 workers and caused the largest U.S. offshore oil spill five years ago off the coast of Louisiana.

A Louisiana-based oil company, LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC, plans to drill into the Macondo reservoir, according to federal records reviewed by The Associated Press.

Harper's Magazine first reported the drilling plans late Tuesday.

LLOG's permit to drill a new well near BP's site was approved April 13 by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees offshore oil and gas drilling operations. The company's exploration plan was approved last October following an environmental review by a sister agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The company, a privately owned firm, will be looking to extract oil and gas deep under the Gulf of Mexico's seafloor, an undertaking that proved catastrophic for BP.

"Our commitment is to not allow such an event to occur again," said Rick Fowler, the vice president for deep-water projects at LLOG. The drilling will be done by the Sevan Louisiana, a semisubmersible drilling rig owned by Sevan Drilling ASA, an international drilling company based in Oslo, Norway.

On April 20, 2010, a drilling rig owned by Transocean Ltd. and hired by BP to drill into the Macondo field experienced a series of problems that led to a massive blowout. Investigators later faulted BP and its contractors for fatal missteps.


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