Drilling plans off Cuba stir fears of impact on gulf

| 30/09/2010

(New York Times): Five months after the BP oil spill, a federal moratorium still prohibits new deepwater drilling in the American waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And under longstanding federal law, drilling is also banned near the coast of Florida. Yet next year, a Spanish company will begin drilling new wells 50 miles from the Florida Keys — in Cuba’s sovereign waters. Cuba currently produces little oil. But oil experts say the country might have reserves along its north coast as plentiful as that of the international oil middleweights, Ecuador and Colombia — enough to bolster its faltering economy and cut its dependence on Venezuela for its energy needs. The advent of drilling in Cuban waters poses risks both to the island nation and the United States.

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