LONDON, April 28 (UPI) -- British energy company BP has applied to the U.S. government to start working again in the Gulf of Mexico, a financial official said.
BP said its first quarter profits fell in part because of the fallout from last year's Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion on the oil platform in April 2010 killed 11 workers and led to one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the energy industry.
Washington suspended deep-water drilling in the gulf after the accident and BP sold more than $24 million worth of oil fields and refineries to help pay for damages related to the spill.
The U.S. government lifted the moratorium in October and has since doled out nearly a dozen permits for work in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP financial officials said the company has sent an application to Washington to resume work in the gulf, The Independent newspaper in London reports.
BP is one of the members of the non-profit Marine Well Containment Co. An interim response system developed by the MWCC can operate in water depths of 8,000 feet and could contain as much as 60,000 barrels of fluid per day in the event of a spill.