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The federal agencies that make and enforce offshore oil and gas leases say they’ll encourage new wells in shallow Gulf of Mexico waters by allowing some reduced-royalty or even royalty-free production if owners can prove they need it. Some $20 billion worth of oil and gas may go untapped without changes described in a report …

JACKSON — Oil rig repairer Signal International of Mobile, Alabama, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company blames a downturn in oil exploration, combined with millions it could owe to Indian guest workers suing the company. The Retirement Systems of Alabama, a public pension system that already owned a minority of the company …

GULF OF MEXICO — An explosion occurred on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, killing one person and injuring three. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Fieldwood Energy reported the explosion on its Echo Platform just before 3 p.m. about 12 miles off Louisiana’s coast. In a …

BROOKHAVEN — A Brookhaven man has died in a work-related accident on an oil rig in Lincoln County. County Coroner Clay McMorris says 22-year-old Chase D. Curtice was working on the rig Monday when he was struck by a pipe. The accident occurred about 9:30 p.m. about two miles northeast of Brookhaven. Curtice was taken …

NEW ORLEANS — BP is appealing a judge’s rejection of its argument that claimants who can’t trace their losses directly to the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill shouldn’t receive payments through a multibillion-dollar settlement with a team of private plaintiffs’ lawyers. BP attorneys filed a notice of appeal yesterday, two days after the ruling by …

There is new, convenient way to chime in thoughts and ideas on how to revitalize the Gulf Coast in the after math of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has created a web site — www.restore.ms — where the public can submit ideas. MDEQ executive director Trudi Fisher says MDEQ …

GULF OF MEXICO — Oil company BP said today it is selling some deep-water assets in the Gulf Mexico to Plains Exploration & Production Co. for $5.55 billion, a big step in BP’s drive to cover the cost of its oil well blowout in the Gulf two years ago and concentrate investment elsewhere. BP is …

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed more than 100 people from Mississippi’s coastal counties to draft a plan on how to spend money the state will get in legal damages as a result of the BP oil spill. The five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico will get 80 percent of Clean …

SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI — Pike County supervisors are suggesting southwest Mississippi take a regional approach to address the growing oil exploration in the area. Officials believe if the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation proves to be a honey hole for oil and gas companies, then southwest Mississippi could see a boost in business and an influx of …