The U.S. Interior Department on Monday formally issued its new drilling moratorium, saying it would end by November 30 or sooner and it would no longer be based on water depths.

More than eighty days into the BP oil spill, a pause on deepwater drilling is essential and appropriate to protect communities, coasts, and wildlife from the risks that deepwater drilling currently pose, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

I am basing my decision on evidence that grows every day of the industry's inability in the deepwater to contain a catastrophic blowout, respond to an oil spill, and to operate safely, he added.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett)