Interior action ordered on 2 more drilling permits

AP News
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Posted: Mar 01, 2011 5:31 PM
Interior action ordered on 2 more drilling permits

The federal judge who overturned the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling after the Gulf oil spill has ordered the administration to act on two more drilling permit applications.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled last month that the Interior Department must act within 30 days on five pending permit applications. On Tuesday, Feldman said his ruling also applies to two applications submitted by Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas Corp.

In June, Feldman struck down the department's decision to halt new permits for deepwater projects and suspend drilling on 33 exploratory wells.

Tuesday's ruling comes a day after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced it approved the first deepwater drilling permit since the spill.