U.S. issues second post-spill drill permit in Gulf

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The government has given BHP Billiton the second new permit to drill in the Gulf of Mexico since the Macondo oil spill, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Saturday.

A BHP spokesman confirmed that the new permit has been issued for resumption of drilling of a production well at Shenzi.

BOEMRE issued the first new permit since the lifting of a moratorium on drilling because of the 2010 spill to Noble Energy on February 28.

(Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu)