President Barack Obama said on Saturday he would seek to expand U.S. oil production by opening up areas in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year, America's oil production reached its highest level since 2003. But I believe that we should expand oil production in Ameirca - even as we increase safety and environmental standards, he said.

Among the steps he'll take are:

- Direct the Department of the Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve

- Speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic

- Lease new areas in the Gulf Of Mexico

- Create new incentives for industry to develop unused leases both on and offshore