* Statoil permitted to drill at Alaminos Canyon 810
* New well will be in deep water off Texas
HOUSTON, March 25 Statoil (STL.OL) has been
awarded the sixth new permit to drill in deep waters of the
U.S. Gulf of Mexico since last year's oil spill, the U.S.
Bureau of Ocean Energy said on Friday.
Statoil's permit authorizes a new well to be drilled in
Alaminos Canyon Block 810 in water 7,134 feet (2,174 meters)
deep, about 216 miles (348 km) off the Texas coast south of
Texas City, the news release said.
Statoil received the permit after it complied with new
drilling safety rules imposed by the agency after the BP Plc
(BP.L) Deepwater Horizon blowout that killed 11 workers and
spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf.
"This permit is the sixth we have approved since Feb. 17,
when industry demonstrated it had the capacity to handle subsea
blowouts and spills," BOEM Director Michael Bromwich said in a
"Some say we are now proceeding too quickly; some say we
are still proceeding too slowly. The truth is we are proceeding
as quickly as our resources allow to approve permit
applications that satisfy our rigorous safety and environmental
standards," Bromwich said.
The government imposed a moratorium on deep water drilling
pending new permitting rules after the BP blowout at its
Macondo project. The moratorium was lifted last fall but it has
taken several months to resume issuing permits.
(Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Marguerita Choy)