As of October, Chevron announced plans to apply for a drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico, the first oil company to do so after the ban on drilling in the Gulf was lifted. Whether their request will be granted remains, as far as I know, to be seen.
Chevron already has large drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico; they are the #3 producer with about 70,000,000 barrels produced from the Gulf in 2009.
Chevron is also about to begin development of a deep-water field that was discovered in 2006; $4 billion is what it will take to bring that field onstream, planned for 2014.
All the major operators will have plans – private or otherwise – for exploiting the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, because that is just about the only area within the US that has potential for significant discoveries.
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