"U.S. Admits Limits in Monitoring Cuba's Offshore Oil Drilling"

"As exploratory oil drilling is set to begin in December off the coast of Cuba, the U.S. government acknowledged Tuesday that because of chilly diplomatic relations it could have a limited ability to control the response to an oil spill there, let alone one the magnitude of last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico."

"U.S. regulators said their main leverage to encourage safe drilling practices in Cuba is with the oil company doing the first round of offshore exploration in the communist country: Spain's Repsol.

Because of its other extensive U.S. interests, Repsol is likely to exercise caution in a project less than 100 miles from the Florida coastline, said Michael Bromwich, director of the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which is within the Department of Interior."

Erika Bolstad reports for McClatchy Newspapers October 18, 2011.

Source: McClatchy, 10/19/2011