BP drilling deal denied

BP Plc doesn’t have an agreement with the U.S. to
resume drilling in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Salazar denied
a report in the Sunday Times of London, which cited unnamed persons saying the
London-based company had reached an agreement with the U.S. to resume drilling.

“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,” Salazar

“We receive
applications for wells, and those applications will be taken through the same
process, with the same rigorous review that we are requiring of any other

Companies that want
to explore for oil in the Gulf’s deep waters have to apply to Interior’s Bureau
of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, demonstrate access to
equipment helping contain spilled oil, and meet higher safety and environmental
standards introduced after BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf exploded on 20 April,
causing the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill.