updated 6/27/2010 2:11:55 PM ET 2010-06-27T18:11:55

Royal Dutch Shell says rising demand means deep-water drilling must continue, but that competitor British Petroleum's massive Gulf of Mexico spill offers lessons.

At a business and political forum in Cape Town, Royal Dutch Shell PLC chief executive Peter Voser said Sunday: "Given the rise in the population and rise in developing world of energy needs, we will have to develop those resources in deep waters ...."

Voser says his company's safety guidelines are in line with U.S. proposals made in the wake of the BP spill.

Voser says, "I think for some companies there will be some learning from this."

Shell Oil, Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. arm, has been affected by the U.S. government's suspension of proposed exploratory Arctic Ocean drilling.

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