The Bureau gives Shell a green light to drill in Gulf of Mexico

Mars TLP Tensioned Leg Platform

Mars Tensioned-Leg Platform (TLP), Image by Garve Scott-Lodge 

HOUSTON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) said Thursday it has received approval from federal regulators to drill a new well at its Gulf of Mexico Europa field.

The permit will allow Shell, one of the largest producers in the Gulf, to return all of its five contracted drilling rigs to work, a company spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Shell and other companies slowed the pace of drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico after the federal government imposed a nine-month drilling moratorium in the area following last year’s BP PLC’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The government resumed issuing permits in late February.

The approval Shell received Thursday came from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement for a new well at Europa, a subsea field in nearly 4,000 feet of water. Production from Europa is tied to Shell’s Mars tension-leg platform.

The bureau oversees oil and gas drilling in federal waters.

-By Isabel Ordonez, Dow Jones Newswires