Judge says he learned he owned Exxon stock a day before he overturned drilling moratorium

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge who overturned a six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico says he learned he owned Exxon stock several hours after he heard the case.

A statement released by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman's chambers in New Orleans says the judge instructed his broker to sell his stock in Exxon and a subsidiary as soon as the market opened June 22. That was the day after the hearing.

Feldman says his broker told him his stock was sold several hours before he struck down the Obama administration's drilling moratorium. The judge also said he didn't know if he made a profit or loss on the sale.

Exxon isn't a party in the case, but the company had one of the 33 existing exploratory rigs shut down by the moratorium imposed because of the Gulf spill.