Oil services companies are waiting to find out if their legal bid will succeed in overturning a six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, it has been revealed.

The results of the legal bid by companies operating in US coastal waters comes as more fishing areas were closed in response to the worst oil spill in US history.

The ban by President Barack Obama’s administration was imposed in response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion on 20 April 2010 that killed 11 workers and ruptured a well owned by BP, unleashing millions of gallons of crude oil into the sea.

US District Court Judge Martin Feldman promised he would decide by Wednesday whether to temporarily lift the ban while the case is heard, reports Reuters.

The lawsuit, filed by more than a dozen companies, is the first seeking to reverse Obama’s 27 May moratorium, which the companies say will force job cuts in the labour force needed to service offshore oil platforms.

The ban has caused the shutdown of 33 deepwater drilling rigs.