After news broke over the weekend that BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, had approached federal regulators about resuming work in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Department made clear today that no agreement has been reached with the British oil giant.
''There is no agreement with respect to BP, nor will there be any agreement with respect to BP or anybody else that isn't within the normal process that we have,'' Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, according to Bloomberg News. The Sunday Times of London had reported that BP did in fact reach an agreement with regulators to return to work in the Gulf.
BP (BP) wants to resume drilling 10 existing deepwater production and development wells in the region in July, the New York Times reported on Sunday. Since the government-imposed moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf was lifted in October, regulators have approved permits for eight wells.
The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which oversees offshore drilling in U.S. waters, confirmed there are no ongoing talks with BP. BP is the largest oil and natural gas producer in the U.S., according to its corporate Web site.