Judge Refuses to Order BOEMRE to Speed Up Deepwater Permitting

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman on Thursday refused to order the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to speed up processing deepwater drilling permit applications, ruling that it was unclear of BOEMRE must approve or reject drilling permit applications within a certain time frame, media reports said.

Ensco Offshore claimed the government has wrongfully delayed issuing deepwater drilling permits since the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was lifted in October. Ensco has contractual stakes in five pending permit applications. Feldman said he wasn't prepared to set deadlines on these applications.