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Jun 2, 2010 1:57 PM by Letitia Walker

First New Drilling Permit Granted

Federal regulators have approved the first new Gulf of Mexico oil well since President Barack Obama lifted a brief ban on drilling in shallow water.

The Minerals Management Service on Wednesday granted a drilling permit sought by Bandon Oil and Gas for a site about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Obama has extended a moratorium on wells in deep water like the BP one that blew out in April and is gushing millions of gallons of oil. But the president quietly lifted a brief ban last week on drilling in shallow water.

The new permit allows drilling in a water depth of 115 feet.

Bandon Oil and Gas first sought the permit in April, shortly after the Deepwater Horizon operated by BP exploded and sank.

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