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Deep-Water Drilling Permits in U.S. Gulf Highest Since BP Spill

The Obama administration has issued this year the most deep-water oil-drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico since 2007 as high crude prices revive exploration slowed by the 2010 BP Plc spill.

The pace of issuing permits under President Barack Obama drew criticism from his Republican rival Mitt Romney last night and from energy lobbyists during the campaign who say the policies slowed oil and gas production on federal land. Obama had suspended drilling after BP’s Macondo well exploded 40 miles off Louisiana’s coast, killing 11 workers and sending an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.