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Napolitano, Salazar, Obama
The Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico today. The ban was on drilling in water deeper than 500 feet and idled 33 rigs.  The ban was put in place shortly after the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig contracted by BP PLC.

The massive spill changed the deepwater offshore drilling enterprise forever because it was the biggest environmental disaster in the history of the United States. Rig operators must demonstrate they can comply with a lengthy list of new safety regulations designed to prevent a repeat of BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster. Several independent government panels are still investigating what caused the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. The accident killed 11 people.

Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement will need time to make sure that drilling plans comply with the new rules. (WSJ, 10/13/2010)

Current Deepwater Operators (as of June 2010)