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U.S. Gives BP First Gulf Drilling Permit Since Catastrophic Oil Spill

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Workers clean a beach after tar balls washed up as efforts continue to contain BP's massive oil spill on May 12, 2010 in South Pass, La. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Workers clean a beach after tar balls washed up as efforts continue to contain BP’s massive oil spill on May 12, 2010 in South Pass, La. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have given BP the go-ahead to drill a new deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico, its first such permit since last year’s catastrophic oil spill.

Regulators said Wednesday BP has met strict safety requirements implemented after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The proposed exploratory well is located roughly 246 miles south of Lafayette, La., in water more than 6,000 feet deep. That’s about 1,000 feet deeper than BP’s Macondo well that blew out in April 2010, killing 11 rig workers and leading to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

This is BP’s first permit to drill, but the company has been active in the Gulf for months.

Other companies have also received deepwater permits in recent months.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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