A federal judge has refused to dismiss an industry lawsuit challenging the US Government’s temporary moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

On 7 June 2010 Hornbeck Offshore Services and other drilling companies filed a lawsuit against the US Government claiming that the ban was causing irreparable harm to the offshore industry.

US District Judge Martin Feldman disallowed the ban saying it was overly broad after which the government issued a second drilling ban and requested the judge to dismiss the case because the first ban was no longer relevant.

Fieldman refused to dismiss the lawsuit and said the new moratorium offered no substantial changes from the first moratorium.

A second lawsuit challenging the newer moratorium was filed by Ensco Offshore.