Shall we thank Muammar Gaddafi? The Obama administration has approved the first deep-water drilling permit since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster last year. The permit allows Noble Energy Inc. to resume drilling a well in 6,500 feet of water about 70 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The Obama administration lifted a formal ban on drilling in October but has declined to issue any new permits, saying that oil companies had not proven they could safely drill. However, rocketing oil prices due, in part, to the situation in Northern Africa could have led the administration to relent in its opposition.