>>US Senate Committee OKs Offshore Drilling Bill 11:45 EST Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- One of several offshore drilling bills in the U.S. Congress leaped forward Wednesday when a Senate energy committee approved legislation to open millions of acres in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling.
The bill, sponsored by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and the panel's top Democrat, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., would allow energy companies to drill on 3.6 million acres in a gas-rich area offshore known as "Lease Sale 181."
The drilling area sits no closer than 100 miles from Florida, Alabama and Louisiana, and is estimated to hold 6 trillion cubic feet of gas.
(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires 03-08-06 1144ET Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.<<