The US House has passed a bill to expand oil and natural gas drilling operations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 235-186, will become a policy if approved by the Senate.

The proposed bill is expected to put pressure on the Barack Obama administration to open coasts of Virginia, South Carolina, California and Alaska for drilling over the next five years.

These areas were not leased to any energy group despite lifting of ban in 2008.

The bill is also expected to make coastal states eligible for energy royalties provided by the US government.

House Natural Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings was qupted by the Bloomberg as saying, "This bill doesn’t harm the environment. We want to drill safely and responsibly."

The total crude oil production on lands and waters owned by the US government is higher than it was in the last year of the Bush administration, but it was lower in 2012 than in 2009, 2010 or 2011.