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BP’s plan for drilling in the Gulf is approved

HOUSTON — The Obama administration on Friday took another step toward allowing BP to return to the Gulf of Mexico, approving the first oil drilling plan for the company there since the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig more than a year ago.

According to The New York Times, it was another sign that oil exploration in the gulf was coming back to normal, although energy companies continued to complain that the permitting process for drilling new wells remained far slower than before the accident.

The federal government’s approval of the BP plan to drill up to four exploratory wells nearly 200 miles from the Louisiana coast was positive news for BP, which has struggled to recover from the April 2010 accident that left 11 workers dead and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the gulf.

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