Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cuba monitors oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

HAVANA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Cuban scientists are keeping a close eye on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the collapse of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20, the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) said on Friday.

"The expansion of the oil spill poses no immediate threat to Cuba, but its movement proves unstoppable so far, therefore we should keep an eye on it," Orlando Rey Santos, an expert from the CITMA said on Friday in Havana.

Santos said that the movement of the oil spill depends on many complex and unpredictable factors, especially ocean currents, winds and climate events, which could push the oil to Cuban shores.

He stressed that the Gulf of Mexico is one of the areas with rich marine biodiversity. The wetlands and countless birds moving along the coasts of the United States and Mexico are endangered by the damages caused by the disaster.

The Cuban expert estimated that 13 million gallons (49.21 liters) of oil have been spilled since April 20.

Interviewed by the CBS, Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of one of the responsible parties, the British Petroleum (BP), acknowledged that the leak can not be controlled within a week.

The manager also admitted that there are doubts about the precise amount of oil leaking into the sea. It was initially assessed at 800,000 liters per day, but now BP officials fear that the amount has been underestimated.

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