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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has licensed a Houston-based oil drilling group to travel to Cuba to start cooperation on safety and environmental practices following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) said on Wednesday the Obama administration denied it permission to travel to Cuba in December, but reversed the decision apparently due to the attention the BP Plc well blowout brought to the potential for an environmental catastrophe.

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