Chevron Receives Drilling Permit for “Buckskin” Prospect in US Gulf of Mexico

(Washington, May 12th, 2011) The Maritime Site has confirmed that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has issued a new drilling permit for Chevron to commence drilling activities on a new well offshore Louisiana utilizing Transocean’s high specification drillship Discoverer Deep Seas.

The well, located in Keathley Canyon 872 in the US Gulf of Mexico, will be part of Chevron’s further investment in it’s “Buckskin Prospect” first discovered in 2008 in over 6900 feet of water.

In my opinion, the issuance of this permit from BOEMRE is a major milestone for Chevron who has been paying nearly full day rates on several high specification rigs idled since the drilling moratorium first went into affect nearly 1 year ago. 

4 Transocean drillships sitting idle in 2010 during the Drilling Moratorium.

Although the drilling moratorium was symbolically lifted a few months ago, the implementation of new rules and regulations and pressure from the Obama Administration to “get things right” has stymied any new drilling permits from being issued.

Confident that both the contractors and operators have taken adequate measures to comply with new safety regulations, BOEMRE now seems to be gaining momentum in reviewing (and approving) drilling permits for activity on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Workers close to the offshore industry are cautiously optimistic that even more permits will be forthcoming and drilling activity in the US Gulf of Mexico will return to “pre-Macando” levels sooner rather than later.

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