“Cuba’s Deep-Water Drilling Proposal Raises Concern“, as well it should, since it’s sixty miles off the Florida coast,
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar expressed concern Thursday about Cuba’s proposal to allow deep-water oil and gas drilling off the Florida coast.
The U.S. has banned offshore drilling in waters near the Florida coast. Following last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, Mr. Salazar and other U.S. officials have been engaging Mexico, Brazil and other countries in discussions about offshore-drilling safety, following on U.S. actions to tighten safety standards.
But so far they haven’t talked with officials in Cuba, where several global companies have signed leases, and Spain’s Respol is expected to begin drilling this year.
“Obviously because it’s located sixty miles off the coast of Florida, it’s an issue that we’re monitoring very carefully,” Mr. Salazar said during a forum on offshore-drilling safety. “It’s an issue of concern.”
Last week, Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, endorsed the idea of establishing uniform safety standards among the U.S., Mexico and Cuba for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He cautioned that finding a way to do so would be “tricky” and needed to be explored.
Mexico’s talks with Cuba have been limited to a dispute over the border between the two nations’ territorial waters, which the United Nations is helping to resolve, said Mario Gabriel Budebo, undersecretary for hydrocarbons in Mexico’s Ministry of Energy.
“Once that is solved, then we can move forward to other issues,” Mr. Budebo said Thursday during the drilling-safety forum.
Unmentioned in the article is the fact that Cuba hired Chinese and Canadian companies to work on 36 oil wells five years ago.
Rather than address the issue in the USA that we are the only nation in the world which prevents itself from exploring and exploiting its own energy resources, Salazar and the US officials are attending a conference where they are trying to impose rules on 12 other countries – among them China and Canada – on how to drill offshore. Those countries see energy production as necessary for their national best interest, unlike the USA.
Good luck with that.