What with Transocean today patting itself on the back for its "best year in safety performance in our company's history," it only follows that BP will return to deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico this summer. The oil giant has cut a deal with the US government that will allow it to drill 10 wells that were under way when the Deepwater Horizon blew last year—in exchange, of course, for stricter regulation. US regulators will have 24-hour access to drilling rigs, reports MSNBC via the Financial Times (subscription only), and BP has agreed to forgo new exploratory drilling.
Environmentalists are, predictably, less than thrilled: “Despite going through the near-death experience of the Macondo well in the US, BP continues to pursue high-risk opportunities. Strategically, the future BP seems to be doing what the old BP did,”a Greenpeace rep tells the FT. (Read more BP oil spill stories.)