BP to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico?

Kyle Potter

Deepwater Horizon explosion

The explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig triggered the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

Nearly a year after the explosion and subsequent oil spill at their Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, gasoline giant BP is in the midst of negotiations with the U.S. government to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP has approached federal regulators to continue drilling at 10 deepwater wells beginning in July, according to an article from the New York Times.


“We’re making progress but it’s not a yes yet,” one official with BP said. An agreement would include much stricter safety regulations, and wouldn’t cover the creation of new wells.

Drilling some 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. The rig was leased and operated by BP.

From the time of the explosion until the leak was completely stopped in September, an estimated 4.9 million barrels (approximately 206 million gallons) of oil flowed freely into the gulf.

The Deepwater Horizon spill is considered the worst in U.S. history – worse than the infamous 1989 Exxon-Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska.

Other oil companies like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BHP Billiton have already been allowed to resume drilling in the gulf, according to the New York Times.