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Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Washington, DC

Question Taken at the July 16, 2010 Daily Press Briefing, July 19, 2010

Question: What is the State Department’s position on the Spanish oil company Repsol that is in the exploration stage of oil drilling off of Cuba's northern coast and is prompting controversy in Florida over fears of a potential spill?

Answer: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates the critical need to take adequate safety measures and planning precautions in offshore drilling.

We expect any company engaged in oil exploration activities to have adequate safeguards in place to prevent oil spills and contingency plans to address a spill should it happen.

U.S. oil spill mitigation service companies can be licensed through the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to provide oil spill prevention and containment support to companies operating in Cuba. We will continue to pursue these and other initiatives within our authority in order to minimize risk to U.S. waters and shores.


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