Huge Oil Rig Arrives To Explore In Cuban Waters

Published January 19, 2012 5:36PM (EST)

HAVANA (AP) — A massive oil rig has arrived in Cuban waters and is set to begin exploring for undersea crude.

The Scarabeo-9 rig can be seen in the distance off the coast of Havana.

Spanish company Repsol is carrying out the exploratory effort under a contract with the Cuban government.

Repsol says the rig will sink a single well in 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) of water about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Havana and 56 miles (90 kilometers) south of Key West, Florida.

The drilling effort has stirred up controversy in the United States and fears of a massive spill.

Analysts say the 50-year U.S. embargo and prickly relations between the two countries has greatly hampered contingency plans for a potential disaster.

By Salon Staff

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