Threat to FL beaches as Cuba drills for oil, ‘US Coast Guard is terrified’

A Chinese-built drilling rig known as Scarabeo 9 is seen off the coast of Havana. Spanish oil company Repsol YPF has begun drilling the first well in Cuba's long-awaited exploration of offshore oilfields.(DESMOND BOYLAN/REUTERS)

The need to plan a detailed response for a possible spill in Cuban waters — including who pays for what — is driven by memories of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, where close to 5 million barrels of crude flowed unabated for three months off the Louisiana coast.

“Now imagine something like that happening in the waters between two countries that don’t even talk to each other,” said Jorge Pinon, a former president of Amoco Oil Latin America and now a research fellow at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas. …“The U.S. Coast Guard is terrified,” he said.

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