Drilling ban analysis due out a month early

The government agency in charge of offshore drilling will weigh in ahead of schedule on whether a ban on new deepwater wells should be lifted.

The chief of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Michael Bromwich, told an investigative panel Monday that he is a month ahead of schedule in issuing a report on the ban. It's due to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in late October.

President Barack Obama imposed the drilling moratorium following the April 20 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest offshore in history. The ban is set to expire Nov. 30, but federal officials have indicated it could end early.

The moratorium has come under criticism by the oil industry and local residents for harming the Gulf economy.