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A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deep water drilling projects, that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.
On Tuesday, the White House promised an immediate appeal. President Barack Obama's administration had halted approval of any new permits for deep-water drilling and suspended drilling of 33 exploratory wells in the Gulf. Several companies that provide other services to offshore drilling rigs asked a U.S. District Judge in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium, arguing it was arbitrarily imposed. The judge agreed, saying the Interior Department seemed to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.