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McClatchy: Foreign Countries Use Oil Spill as a Wake-up Call

Author: Mimi Whitefield
June 29, 2010

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Only a handful of countries in the hemisphere are engaged in deepwater drilling. Here's a look at their programs or their future deepwater plans in the wake of the Gulf blowout.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been a wake-up call for the countries of the Americas some who fret tar balls could reach their beaches and damage fisheries and others who question the safety of their own offshore drilling programs.

British Petroleum's efforts to stop the Deepwater Horizon spill are being closely monitored in the region, where there's new respect for the impact a deepwater disaster can have on close neighbors.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature -- the world's largest environmental network -- has called for a global moratorium on oil and gas drilling in environmentally sensitive deepwater and polar areas.

"The technology to minimize the risks and impacts of catastrophes such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is obviously lacking at present,'' said IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre.

"The global nature of the problem calls for collaborative action between countries,'' the IUCN said in a statement.

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