Chevron Back to Work With Hercules

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BP ( BP) isn't the only energy stock off to a quick start in early trading on Wednesday morning.

The volatile stock of dollar store offshore driller Hercules Offshore ( HERO) was one of the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq in the pre-market after Chevron ( CVX) said it would lift a force majeure clause that it had invoked on a shallow-water offshore drilling project in the Gulf of Mexico, after receiving a government permit to drill.

Hercules Offshore shares were up more than 2% -- though that's only a gain of five cents for the offshore drilling stock, which was recently trading at $2.33.

The quick start in Hercules trading on Wednesday morning picks up from a dubious point in the stock's history. Hercules shares fell to a 52-week low on Tuesday, of $2.24.

On June 23, 2010, Chevron invoked force majeure for the drilling contract covering the Hercules 120 due to the inability to obtain the necessary drilling permits from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. On July 2, 2010, the BOEM -- the new Minerals Management Service of the Interior Department -- issued a permit for a well.

BP was up by a similar 2% gain -- after Tuesday's 6% rise -- on news that it was working with sovereign Abu Dhabi to potentially sell a 10% equity stake in BP to the Gulf state.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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