A Spanish drilling company is due to begin drilling off the Cuban coastline just 50 miles from the Florida Keys.
As the tiny Caribbean nation gears up its drilling ambitions, concerns are rising about the impact of a possible well blowout, like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, on US coastlines.
Any offshore disaster like the Gulf Of Mexico oil rig explosion this year, could prove disastrous for the Florida coastline.
Oil analysts believe that the Cuban coastline may have abundant oil resources among its north coast. Cuban politicians have been indicating in recent months that the country does intend to explore drilling into these waters. However, the nation is ill equipped to deal with any kind of tragedy, like the Deepwater Horizon explosion. In spite of the best American technology available, the oil spill arising out of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy quickly swelled into the biggest maritime disaster in recent times. It's hard to imagine the kind of devastation that would occur if an oil well in Cuban waters suffered a similar disaster.
The oil industry in Cuba does not have the kind of resources nor the technology needed to embark on spill control efforts and there would be complications if the Cubans wanted help from American companies in order to control any spill. A 48-year-old trade embargo on Cuba would make it challenging for any exchange of information and technology between the two countries.