Changes to oil-drilling regulations following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico could harm growth in the US offshore industry, according to Exxon Mobil.

Exxon Mobile senior vice president Andrew Swiger gave the warning as he urged the US Government not to make changes to offshore legislation without fully understanding the cause of oil spill.

Oil has been gushing at the rate of 19,000 barrels per day since Transocean-owned rig exploded and sank on 22 April killing 11 people in Gulf of Mexico and destroying ocean and wildlife habitat.

“The industry has drilled thousands of wells in various operating environments, whether it’s deepwater or onshore, all around the world, without incident,” Swiger told Bloomberg.

Since the accident the US Minerals Management Service, accused of lax regulations on offshore drilling before the BP spill, has been replaced with three offices to oversee leases, drilling safety and fee collection.