Lawsuit over drilling bans returns to court in La.
NEW ORLEANS - An offshore drilling services company is asking a federal judge to rule that government regulators have unreasonably delayed action on deepwater drilling permit applications in the aftermath of the massive Gulf oil spill.
Ensco Offshore Company is seeking a preliminary injunction that would require the Interior Department to "expeditiously" process pending permit applications now that it has lifted its moratorium on deepwater drilling.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on the company's request.
The Justice Department is asking Feldman to dismiss Ensco's claims that the Obama administration has engaged in a "pattern and practice" of delaying the issuance of drilling permits.