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After the first attempt in nearly a decade to find Cuba’s hoped-for undersea oil bonanza has come up dry, the island’s leaders and their partners must regroup and hope they have better luck – quickly.
As the Spanish company Repsol nears its target depth for an exploratory oil well in Cuban waters, experts told a forum in Washington that the U.S. hasn’t done enough to prevent an accident on the site, or respond to one if it occurs.
The United States is paving the way for American firms to respond to any oil spills from offshore drilling set to begin off Cuba’s northern coast later this year, an Obama administration official is telling the Senate today.
Repsol holds the rights to an exploration block off Cuba covering more than 1,700 square miles, according to its 2010 annual report. Earlier this year it signed a contract with Italy’s Saipem SpA to lease the Scarabeo-9 rig for drilling operations in Cuba.