Home Energy and Environment Could Oil from a Cuban Spill Reach Virginia’s Coast?

Could Oil from a Cuban Spill Reach Virginia’s Coast?


Brown Pelicans Wait for Cleaning at Ft. JacksonWith Cuba set to begin oil drilling, Anya Landau French blogs for the Christian Science Monitor that a Cuban oil spill could deliver disaster far beyond the Gulf of Mexico:

Now, after several delays, with a Chinese-built Italian oil rig, the Scarabeo 9, on its way to Cuba, drilling of the first of five exploratory wells in Cuban deep water is set to commence this December.

A spill from this first, easternmost exploratory well to be drilled by the Repsol consortium could be particularly damaging due to its location where the Gulf Stream exits the Gulf of Mexico for the Atlantic. Whereas the BP disaster was somewhat “contained” in the northern Gulf, Piñón tells me to “imagine a fan-shaped spill with the well as the axis.” If something were to go wrong on Scarabeo 9, we could see and feel the effects of a major oil spill in Cuban deep water not just in Florida, but far up the Atlantic coast.

And as Fareed Zakaria writes, “the nearest and best experts on safety procedures and dealing with oil spills are all American, but we are forbidden by our laws from being involved in any way with Cuba.” What could go wrong?

  • Glen Tomkins

    Every cloud has a silver lining.  In this case, the performance of our own government, even with a D in office during the latest Gulf oil spill, in controlling the destructive behavior of large corporations has fallen to such a low level of expectation, that we can expect far more responsible behavior from even the government of Cuba.

    In the diving contest we have made out of government, we’ve pulled ahead of Cuba, which means below Cuba.  Up next, we overtake Somalia, but only if Rick Perry wins in 2012.