Published: Jun 30, 2010 6:50 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 30, 2010 3:50 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Interior Department official says the
government is expected soon to issue more permits for drilling in
shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
      The decision would not affect the six-month moratorium on
deepwater drilling imposed in the aftermath of BP's Deepwater
Horizon oil spill.
      While drilling in shallow waters was not part of the moratorium,
there has been confusion about whether new permits will be approved
for shallow water leases. Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes
told a House hearing that he expects more shallow water drilling
applications to be approved as they are received.