SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

December 06, 2011 08:16 ET

BP and ATP Oil & Gas Poised for Strong Development in the Gulf of Mexico

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on BP PLC and ATP Oil & Gas

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 6, 2011) - The recovery for oil and gas drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico remains slow this year. Burdened by slow permitting and steep regulation, the number of active rigs in the Gulf is currently 37 percent less than before last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster, a study by Quest Offshore Resources shows. Recent measures taken by the Obama Administration look to boost activity in the Gulf region. However the Administration's plan falls far short of what the oil industry and its Congressional supporters demanded. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Oil and Gas sector and provides equity research on BP PLC (NYSE: BP) (LSE: BP) and ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (NASDAQ: ATPG). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/BP

www.bedfordreport.com/ATPG

Last month the Obama Administration announced its proposed five year plan for offshore drilling, calling for opening new areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska but bars development along the East and West Coasts. "It will have an emphasis in the Gulf of Mexico," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. "We see robust oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico."

Besides the Gulf and the Alaska leases, the proposal includes a small portion in the eastern Gulf about 150 miles off the Florida coast. The rest of the eastern Gulf is off limits due to a congressional moratorium.

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Last month BP announced that it received approval from the US Coast Guard's on-scene coordinator for its shoreline cleanup operation plan roughly 18 months after the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the plan approved by the Coast Guard, BP will end active cleanup operations and focus on restoring the areas damaged by last year's oil disaster. In October US regulators approved a plan by BP to resume offshore oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

ATP Oil & Gas Corporation engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the Dutch sectors of the North Sea. Earlier this month the company announced that it sold its deep-rights interest in one of its Telemark Hub properties in the Gulf of Mexico. "ATP is eager to encourage exploration into deeper horizons at ATP's Telemark Hub and in close proximity to ATP's existing infrastructure, the ATP Titan," said president Leland Tate.

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