WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators approved a proposal from Shell for five wells in the deep waters off the Louisiana coast, the second approval since last year's oil disaster.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement approved a proposal from Shell to drill five exploratory wells about 75 miles off the coast of Louisiana in 7,200 feet of water.
Michael Bromwich, director of the BOEMRE, said in a statement his agency found "no evidence" the proposed drilling would have a negative impact on the human environment.
"This exploration plan was reviewed under the heightened standards we are now using to conduct site-specific environmental assessments," he was quoted by the Platts news service as saying.
Shell in April was approved for a new well in the Garden Banks block about 137 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Work will be carried out in about 2,700 feet of water.
That work marked the first new exploration well that cleared all regulatory obstacles since the Deepwater Horizon rig caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.
Washington lifted a moratorium on deepwater drilling in October, and the BOEMRE license follows a series of permits released to international energy companies in 2011.