New Orleans, LA (AP) - A federal judge has refused to order
government regulators to speed up the processing of deepwater
drilling permit applications now that they have lifted the drilling
ban imposed in the wake of the massive Gulf oil spill.
In his ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman says
it is unclear if the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management must approve or reject drilling permit applications
within a specific time frame.
Ensco Offshore Company claims the government has wrongfully
delayed issuing permits for deepwater drilling since it lifted a
moratorium on the projects in October.
But Feldman says he isn't prepared right now to set deadlines
for the Obama administration to act on five pending permit
applications in which Ensco has a contractual stake.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)