British oil company BP plans to restart deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, a year after the fatal Deepwater Horizon rig explosion triggered the worst oil spill in history.
US regulators have given the firm approval to start work on 10 wells in the Gulf that were halted by a moratorium on drilling imposed after the spill, according to the Sunday Times in London. BP declined to comment.
The move is likely to fuel public anger and comes days after it emerged that the US justice department is considering manslaughter charges after the devastating oil spill, which killed 11 workers and caused an environmental crisis.
BP is spending about $41 billion on cleaning up the spill and to cover damages. Investigations into the spill continue with the US authorities examining testimony from Tony Hayward, the former chief executive, and others as they consider bringing legal action.
Last week the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced it had given permits for the drilling of eight deepwater wells since February 17.