Friday, October 1, 2010

Oil talk

Nothing new has happened with regard to Cuba’s offshore oil exploration plans, but three articles appeared this week to update us on the issue.

It remains the case that Spain’s Repsol, which drilled a promising exploratory well in 2004, is building a production rig to drill again next year.

American sanctions dictate that the rig’s content can’t be more than ten percent American. So the American component of the rig, being built in China, is the blowout preventer. New York Times report here.

The Herald looked at environmental risks here and reports that Senator Nelson’s odd solution – revoking U.S. agreement to the maritime border – was turned down by the Bush and Obama Administrations alike.

A second Herald article includes an interview with the regional Coast Guard chief, and makes clear that disaster preparedness is in the hands of Repsol, the Cuban government, and any American companies that may have licenses to be involved. The normal guide to disaster response – an agreement between governments such as the one we have with Mexico (pdf) – is absent because this is Cuba, after all, and that would require talking to Cuba, and…you know the rest.

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