Less than a year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster that pumped oil into the waters off the Gulf Coast, BP is applying for permission to resume drilling in the area, reports the New York Times.
Citing two unnamed sources — "company officials with direct knowledge of the application" — the paper reported that BP has applied to resume drilling in July at 10 established points, in exchange for adhering to stricter safety practices and closer supervision.
Some outlets are reporting that a deal has already been reached, but government officials quickly shot the rumor down.
The Hill spoke to Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, who said Sunday that “there is no such deal.”
"We don't make deals. We issue permits based on the merits of the application," she said. She insisted that no new permits have been issued to BP.
BP continues to pay for the Deepwater Horizon spill, and has already put more than $40 billion toward cleanup efforts.
Transocean Ltd., the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon and leased it to BP, assumed no responsibility for the spill, and in fact, over the weekend hailed this year as its best for safety "in company history" in its annual report.