Diamond Offshore Drilling CEO: Permit Approvals in Gulf of Mexico are Accelerating, Expresses Optimism

diamond offshore drilling
AP Photo/Diamond Offshore drilling

HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- The rate at which new deep-water permits are being approved under new rules in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is improving, said Diamond Offshore Inc. (DO) Chief Executive Larry Dickerson on Thursday. The “permit situation is certainly improving,” Dickerson said in a conference call with analysts following the company’s third-quarter earnings report. “We see some optimism out there.”

However, some of the clients of the offshore drilling contractor are still waiting for permits, Dickerson added, and the company’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico payroll is down by 600 employees from its level before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The remarks, however, underscore how the oil industry is ramping up activity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico more than a year after the Deepwater Horizon well blowout, which resulted in the worst marine spill in U.S. history, the death of 11 people, and the overhaul of U.S. offshore oil and gas drilling rules.

-By Angel Gonzalez, Dow Jones Newswires