By Houston Business Journal

BP Plc has won approval from federal regulators to return to the Gulf of Mexico for oil exploration, the companyâ¿¿s first permit in those waters since last year when the Deepwater Horizon explosion set off the nationâ¿¿s worst offshore oil spill in history.

BP CEO Robert Dudley is attempting to revive the London-based oil giantâ¿¿s output in the U.S., according to a Bloomberg article. Earlier this week, BP (NYSE: BP) settled a lawsuit with Houstonâ¿¿s Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) in which Anadarko will pay BP $4 billion. Following that announcement, BP shares increased on the U.S. stock market.

Analysts said the settlement bolsters BP⿿s claim that the company was not ⿿grossly negligent⿝ in its operations of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 people when it exploded April 20, 2010.

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Copyright 2010