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The Associated Press September 7, 2010, 6:12AM ET

UK industry opposes any North Sea drilling ban

Britain's leading oil industry association says it is unnecessary to impose a moratorium on drilling in the North Sea until the Gulf of Mexico spill is fully investigated.

Malcolm Webb, the chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, told lawmakers on Tuesday that differences between U.S. and British regulation of deepwater drilling means "there's no case for a moratorium."

Webb says that other countries could learn from British regulation, which is less prescriptive than in the United States but places the onus on operators to put in place procedures necessary to ensure safety.

Webb is giving evidence to a cross-party committee of lawmakers that is looking into the implications of the Gulf of Mexico spill for drilling operations in the North Sea.

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