) has reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) that allows the former to once again bid on
government contracts in the Gulf of Mexico region.
BP PLC (BP): Free Stock Analysis Report
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PATTERSON-UTI (PTEN): Free Stock Analysis
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The latest agreement with the EPA lifts a ban that was imposed in
2012 after the agency concluded that BP had not completely
rectified the issues that led to the well blowout in 2010. The
accident killed 11 rig workers, leaked millions of gallons of oil
and polluted hundreds of miles of sea water.
BP had sued for lifting of the suspension, as it prevented it
from renewing existing fuel contracts with the military and from
leasing new offshore oil and gas properties. The pact resolves
all matters related to the suspension, debarment and statutory
disqualification of BP following the Deepwater Horizon accident.
The administrative agreement, valid for a period of five years,
applies to all of the suspended and debarred BP entities and
certain affiliated companies. The agency, however, holds the
right to take counteractive action if it believes BP violates the
BP is also required to retain an independent auditor approved by
the EPA for the next five years to perform annual appraisal and
report to the government on conformity with the new standards.
Per the terms and conditions of the agreement, the oil and gas
major will be allowed to bid for new leases as soon as next
Wednesday, provided it agrees to maintain heightened safety, and
abide by operations, ethics, compliance and
BP carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the oil and
gas industry worth considering include
Helmerich & Payne, Inc.
Warren Resources Inc.
Patterson-UTI Energy Inc.
). All three stocks have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).