NEW ORLEANS (AP) --
A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.
Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide
other services to offshore drilling rigs had asked U.S. District
Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium.
President Barack Obama's administration has halted the approval
any new permits for deepwater drilling and suspended drilling at
33 exploratory wells in the Gulf.
Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed
to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems
to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing
deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.