By Houston Business Journal

Several Houston deepwater drilling companies are among 13 informed by the federal government that they can resume drilling without further reviews.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said the companies are allowed to resume work at previously drilled wells. The government ordered that work on those wells be suspended after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf rig disaster last April and said it would require companies to complete environmental reviews before being allowed to drill.

⿿For those companies that were in the midst of operations at the time of the deepwater suspensions (last spring), today⿿s notification is a significant step toward resuming their permitted activity,⿝ said Michael Bromwich, bureau director.

The 13 companies that received the notice are: ATP Oil & Gas Corp.; BHP Billiton Petroleum (GOM) Inc.; Chevron USA Inc.; Cobalt International Energy; ENI U.S. Operating Co. Inc.; Hess Corp.; Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp.; Marathon Oil Co.; Murphy Exploration & Production Co.-USA; Noble Energy Inc.; Shell Offshore Inc.; Statoil USA E & P Inc.; and Walter Oil & Gas Corp.

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