Federal regulators awarded Murphy Oil the ninth permit for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico since the largest oil spill history occurred a year ago. The permit will allow Arkansas-based Murphy to resume a project it was working on prior to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in April 2010.
Murphy (MUR) was already operating a rig in the offshore tract known as the Green Canyon Block 338 that it leased from the government, according to Reuters, but that project was halted following the government-imposed moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf. The moratorium was lifted in October.
The permit allows Murphy to drill a so-called sidetrack well to a new location close to the company's existing underwater well, Reuters reported. The well, located about 170 miles southwest of New Orleans, will be drilled at depths greater than 3,300 feet.
In addition to the U.S., Murphy does business in Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Republic of the Congo.