U.S. to monitor Cuban oil work
Published: Jan. 4, 2012 at 9:06 AM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Interior and U.S.
Coast Guard plan to inspect an oil rig leased by Spanish energy company
Repsol in Cuban waters, an official said.
Repsol last year announced plans to drill exploration wells in Cuban
waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
A group of U.S. House of Representative lawmakers, all of Cuban descent,
criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for not standing against Repsol's
plans, which they claim constitutes work "with a state sponsor of
Interior Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said a team was headed
to Cuban waters to inspect the rig this week.
"The inspection is being conducted to protect the interests of the
United States," she told the Platts news service.
Michael Bromwich, former head of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement, said Washington had limited access to certain aspects of
Repsol's drilling program, however.
Cuba is looking into cutting the amount of oil it imports from Venezuela
through development of offshore reserves. The U.S. Energy Information
Administration estimates that, as of 2009, Cuba had less than 1 billion
barrels of oil reserves.