By Houston Business Journal

Shares of ATP Oil and Gas Corp. were buoyed Tuesday by the federal governmentâ¿¿s decision to allow some companies to bypass strict regulations put in place on deepwater projects after the Deepwater Horizon Gulf rig disaster.

The shares spiked as high as $18.40 after the markets opened as investors digested the news from the Jan. 3 decision affecting ATP and several other companies.

Shares of Houston-based ATP Oil and Gas (NASDAQ: ATPG) finished the session up 60 cents, or 3.5 percent to close at $17.52. Some 4.6 million shares changed hands.

ATP and 12 other companies were told by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement that they could resume drilling at sites already in operation prior to the federal governmentâ¿¿s decision to impose a ban on deepwater drilling.

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