The most immediate implication to the oil industry of the decision is to Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A.), which has been planning to begin a drilling project in the Arctic this summer, and had been working overtime to assure the federal government that it wouldn't be the next BP, once the oil spill crisis unfolded.
New drilling permits will not be issued by the federal government until the cause of the BP oil spill is determined, and stricter safety and environmental rules are imposed on drillers.
Thursday was a critical day in BP's fight against the oil spill, as an announcement was expected from the embattled oil giant as to whether its "top kill" effort to contain the leaking oil has worked.
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral, Thad Allen, told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday morning that the top kill had worked, and BP would next be moving to cement the leaking underwater well permanently shut.