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Shell Oil Chief Expects US Offshore Drilling to Continue

The head of the Royal Dutch Shell oil company says he expects deep-water drilling to continue off the U.S. coast, but cautions that the industry must evolve to prevent more incidents like the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Peter Voser said on U.S. television Sunday that drilling will likely continue because of the demands of a growing world population. He said changes are needed to make the practice safer.

Voser said the BP disaster can help experts learn how better to protect oil workers and drilling operations.

The well leak that has been pouring crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico was caused by an explosion on an oil rig April 20 that killed 11 people.

U.S. weather forecasters say Tropical Storm Alex, which is now crossing over the Gulf, will likely miss the oil spill site. US. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said Saturday that if the storm changes track and crosses near the oil spill, containment operations could be halted for as long as two weeks.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts Alex to cross Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and pass far to the west of the leaking Deep Water Horizon well site.

BP reports it was able to capture or burn off a total of 24,550 barrels of oil Friday from the leaking well.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.