US issues second post-spill drill permit in Gulf

HOUSTON, March 12 Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:17pm EST

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HOUSTON, March 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. government has given BHP Billiton (BLT.L) the second new permit to drill in the Gulf of Mexico since the Macondo oil spill, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Saturday.

A BHP spokesman confirmed that the new permit has been issued for resumption of drilling of a production well at Shenzi.

BOEMRE issued the first new permit since the lifting of a moratorium on drilling because of the 2010 spill to Noble Energy on Feb. 28. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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