The number of permits issued by the Department of Interior for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico fell precipitously after the BP oil spill of April 2010 and has not recovered significantly. The blue line represents deepwater permits. The purple line represents shallow water permits. In the month of December 2009 alone there were 12 deepwater permits issued and in March 2010, the month before the oil spill, there were 13 shallow water permits. Shallow water permits have recovered somewhat, so that there were nine issued in February 2011. But there have only been five deepwater permits issued in total since the BP accident. The huge impact this has had on investment and employment in the offshore industry was documented in this report by Quest Offshore Resources, Inc., featured on the site last week.