A federal appeals panel upheld a district judge's order to block the ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - A federal appeals panel on Thursday upheld a district judge's order to block the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a brief ruling just a few hours after the hearing, the three-judge appellate panel denied the government's request to reinstate the moratorium while the full appeal of the case continues.
The government declared the moratorium in response to the April 20 explosion and fire on a deepwater rig that led to the Gulf oil disaster, with millions of gallons gushing into the ocean and oil giant BP unable to stop it.