HOUSTON (Reuters) - The offshore drilling regulator said on Friday that five deepwater drilling permit applications are awaiting government approval and he still expects at least one to be approved before the third quarter this year.
"There's a misperception out there that there's a huge number of permit applications that are lying there unacted on. That has actually never been the case," Michael Bromwich, head of the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said after giving a speech at Rice University in Houston on Friday.
He spoke as part of a day-long program about the future of the U.S. offshore drilling industry in the aftermath of last year's blowout of BP Plc's Macondo well that gushed more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.