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Posts from ‘December, 2012’

Motiva Reports Compressor Shutdown at Port Arthur, Texas, Refinery – Filing

Published December 31, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC reported that a wet gas compressor at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery experienced an emergency shutdown Saturday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The company reported that charge rates were reduced to help stabilize operations for the restart of the compressor.

A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Motiva is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. read more

Shell Oil drilling vessel is adrift in Gulf of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An unmanned mobile oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell is adrift — again — south of Kodiak Island after it lost towlines Sunday afternoon from two vessels trying to hold it in place against what have been pummeling winds and high seas, according to incident management leaders: In October 1980, in a situation eerily similar to what is happening now, 18 crew members were evacuated off a jack-up drilling rig named the Dan Prince as rough seas in the North Pacific 650 miles south of Kodiak threatened to destroy the unit, according to news reports at the time. Crews couldn’t attach a towline. The rig then sank, according to an online listing of rig disasters.

Posted on Monday, 12.31.12

By Lisa Demer of The Anchorage Daily News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An unmanned mobile oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell is adrift — again — south of Kodiak Island after it lost towlines Sunday afternoon from two vessels trying to hold it in place against what have been pummeling winds and high seas, according to incident management leaders.

A team of 250 people from the Coast Guard, the state of Alaska, Shell, and one of its contractors was hunkered down Sunday, mainly in Midtown Anchorage’s Frontier Building, trying to resolve the ongoing crisis with Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk. read more

Shell Says Arctic Drilling Rig Kulluk Recaptured in Stormy Seas

By Jim Polson – Dec 30, 2012 7:05 PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) said an Arctic drilling barge, headed to Seattle for maintenance, was safely recovered yesterday after being set adrift during a storm in the Gulf of Alaska.

Crew of the Shell-owned barge, Kulluk, were evacuated last night as a precaution after towing resumed, said Curtis Smith, an Alaska-based Shell spokesman, in a telephone interview today. The offshore tug Aiviq recovered the Kulluk.

Shell has invested $4.5 billion in offshore leases and equipment and fought at least 50 lawsuits from environmental groups to begin drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year, the first wells in U.S. Arctic waters in about 20 years. The Kulluk was in need of maintenance after starting a well in the Beaufort Sea, Smith said. read more

Shell’s latest Arctic Saga

IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

John,

Here are some articles about Shell’s latest saga in the Arctic:

Coast Guard evacuates crew of troubled oil drilling barge: Los Angeles Times – VANCOUVER, B.C. — U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were evacuating the crew of a troubled oil drilling barge off the coast of southern Alaska Saturday afternoon after engine troubles on its tow vessel had left the barge drifting toward landfall south of Kodiak Island. The move followed a tense night, when … On Saturday afternoon, engineers were able to restart the last of the four engines on the Aiviq towing vessel and also attach a line from a second ship brought in by Shell Alaska, the Nanuq. The armada of three was … read more

Shell’s jinxed Arctic drilling farce

By John Donovan

In May 2012 I contacted a senior lawyer at Royal Dutch Shell Plc seeking confirmation that the oil giant had been unable to insure the risks involved in its Arctic drilling plans and for this reason, had self-insured. There was no response. The same month we published an article about Shell’s related plan to use oil spill sniffer dogs. Lets hope they have also been trained to swim.

Shell’s rigs eventually arrived in the Arctic after being beset by construction delays, permit problems and stubborn sea ice. read more

Shell Arctic Drill Ship adrift and in danger

By Associated Press — The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Saturday 29 Dec — Rough weather prevented the Coast Guard from evacuating an 18-member crew of a stalled Shell drill ship in the Gulf of Alaska and another vessel is on the way to prevent the ship from drifting into the Trinity Islands.

The Coast Guard says helicopter crews tried Friday night and early Saturday morning to evacuate the crew of the Kulluk (CULL’-uck), which has no propulsion system and is dependent on other vessels to move it around.

Winds of over 60 mph and waves of about 25 feet were too much for an evacuation. read more

Aiviq: Pride of Shell’s Alaskan drilling fleet?

FROM A RETIRED SHELL OFFSHORE EXPERT

On 29 Dec 2012, at 09:47

John,

Interesting facts about the Aiviq on your web site this morning.

Shell’s Alaska Mishaps Continue in Monster Seas

This link takes you to the technical and description of the  this Tugboat and its facilities which is American design, American built and crewed, cost more than $200 million!

The technical specification is amazing with four diesel engines and two propellers of the latest and most advanced type,  thrusters at both the bow and stern, so much electrical power it could run a small town and redundancy available :- begs the question of why all this advanced specification failed.  It is very doubtful that it was any of the main systems, so what was the cause?  Maybe the root cause was within the complex control systems and all the interlocks built in to prevent mal-operation by the crew.  Me thinks too complex as such a vessel should be manned by fully competent staff who have had the necessary training and experience with such complex control systems and more importantly, knowing what action to take in the event of an emergency situation. read more

Shell’s Alaska Mishaps Continue in Monster Seas

Coast Guard cutter hits trouble trying to aid Shell rig off Alaska

The Aiviq and Kulluk as they set sail from Seattle earlier this year for offshore drilling in Alaska (Royal Dutch Shell / December 28, 2012)

By Kim MurphyDecember 28, 2012, 2:59 p.m.

SEATTLE — Adding to a season full of headaches for Shell Alaska’s debut offshore drilling program in the U.S. Arctic, the company’s Kulluk drilling rig was stuck in monster seas off the coast of Alaska on Friday as its tugboat’s engines failed and the Coast Guard cutter that came to assist became entangled in a tow line.

There were no immediate threats to crew or equipment, but Shell Alaska was rushing additional aid vessels to the scene as the Kulluk, which drilled the beginnings of an exploratory oil well in the Beaufort Sea over the summer, sat without ability to move forward in 20-foot seas about 50 miles south of Kodiak. read more

Tug Towing Shell Drilling Unit Suffers Engine Failures Near Kodiak

By Chris Klint Channel 2 News10:37 a.m. AKST, December 28, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding Friday to engine failures aboard a tugboat towing one of the drilling units used by Shell Oil in the Beaufort Sea this year, a day after news broke that a drillship from the project had been cited by the Coast Guard in Seward.

Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley says the tugboat Aiviq reported the problems about 50 miles south of Kodiak, while towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk.

“The crew of the Aiviq reported that they were able to restart one of the (ship’s) engines and is currently awaiting assistance from the crews of the response vessels Guardsman and the Nanuq, which departed Seward and are expected on-scene early Friday afternoon,” Mosley wrote in a Friday statement on the incident. read more

Safety, pollution issues hold up Shell drillship in Alaska

Ben Anderson | Dec 27, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer — a 571-foot vessel integral to the company’s Arctic oil drilling aspirations — has been held up in Seward for several weeks to address what the Coast Guard described as  “pretty serious” issues with the ship’s safety and pollution- prevention systems.

According to Petty Officer Kip Wadlow, a spokesman with the Coast Guard in Juneau, the Noble Discoverer was put under what’s known as “port state control detention” on Nov. 29 when the drill ship was towed into Seward, thanks to a problem with its propulsion system. read more

Noble Sees Shell’s Alaska Rig Ready for Drilling in 2013

By Jim Polson – Dec 27, 2012 7:20 PM GMT

Noble Corp. (NE) expects to have its Noble Discoverer rig ready for Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) to resume drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea next year, after fixing issues raised during a U.S. Coast Guard inspection.

The Coast Guard determined the ship’s propulsion and safety management systems need attention, the Zug, Switzerland-based company said in a statement today. Noble expects to fix the ship before the Arctic drilling season begins when sea ice clears in six months or so, said John Breed, a company spokesman in Sugar Land, Texas. read more

How Chris Finlayson bungled the Mother of all Projects: Sakhalin II

Chris Finlayson representing Shell and Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s Vice Chairman

By John Donovan

Chris Finlayson, the newly appointed Chief Executive of BG Group, held a leadership position in Shell’s Sakhalin II project in Russia from September 2005 to September 2009. The venture was described as “the Mother of all Projects” by the Financial Times.

We have already published an article about his involvement in the Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal, providing evidence – in the form of authentic Shell internal documents – supporting my conclusion that he was either part of the cover-up, or negligent in his fiduciary duties as a senior Shell executive to protect the interests of investors. read more

Prophetic 2004 photograph of Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts

Prophetic 2004 photograph of  the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman and fraudster Sir Philip Watts (above) from a Sunday Telegraph article published on 18 January 2004 days after the Shell reserves scandal made news headlines around the world. Right, a photograph from 2012, also of Sir Philip, but rematerialized this time as the Rev. Sir Philip Watts. Personally, I think his most memorable role was when he materialized as a spaceman. Hope someone warns his congregation not to mention anything that might remind him of his colorful past, for example, when he was allegedly an arms supplier in Nigeria. (Article posted by John Donovan) read more

BG Group corporate incubator for Shell strays?

“Nowhere in the flattering and in my judgement misleading CV for Finlayson is there any mention of the words safety, health or environment. It eulogises Finlayson for his optimising of production and operating performance, well that is what TFA was all about.”: “Anyway for fair reason or foul, Finlayson arrives, Carne leaves, Finlayson reaches the Board, Berget maybe gets his marching orders. Maybe all pals together they were keeping BG seats warm for the next Shell bum or maybe there was more to it as suggested, anyway it shows BG Advance as an entity acting as a corporate incubator for Shell strays?”

By Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

Post Piper Alpha it was readily apparent to Lord Cullen that the legislation pertaining to offshore oil and gas extraction was weak with regards to pinning down responsibility and accountability. At that time the statutory instrument SI 1019 made the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) specifically responsible for what happened offshore re health and safety.

SI 1019 essentially made the OIM Captain of the ship and Occidental Directors appeared on paper at least to be twice removed from how these issues were handled offshore on their installations. read more

Motiva Port Arthur Restart Delayed Until Next Week – Source

Published December 21, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC most likely will not be able to restart for a few more days a main processing unit at its refinery expansion in Port Arthur, Texas, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said Friday.

Motiva has been struggling to restart the 325,000-barrel-a-day refinery expansion’s crude distillation unit since the unit went down in early July. The $10 billion expansion was to bring the combined refinery’s capacity to 600,000 barrels a day and make it the largest in the U.S. and one of the 10 largest in the world. read more

BG Group CEO Chris Finlayson and the Shell ‘Touch Fuck All’ Scandal

“Hyman et al should be reminded that Shell pled guilty on behalf of its Directors to all charges placed before them. So whatever gloss you paint over the turd, Finlayson and Brinded failed as Directors in their principal duty to comply with the Law so that risks to those persons exposed to these risks offshore were minimised, as was their legal responsibility.”

STATEMENT ISSUED ON 19 DECEMBER 2012 BY MR BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL: APPOINTMENT OF CHRIS FINLAYSON AS CEO OF BG GROUP

It appears that not just individuals but organisations have selective memory.  LK Hyman, BG Group, and others should bear in mind the facts that criminal neglect of maintenance over a prolonged period 1999 to 2003 caused the deaths of two men in Sept 2003 after the release of over 6000 m3 of gas into an enclosed space – that is what the Inquiry found and he needs to be reminded that Chris Finlayson and Malcolm Brinded were responsible in Law for the well being of 1000’s of employees over that prolonged period. As stated in writing by the then Lord Advocate in a parliamentary reply the haphazard management of safety over a prolonged period contributed directly to the deaths and the Director of these offshore activities during this period was Finlayson. He had been forewarned in 1999 that a serious accident event was inevitable if actions were not taken and he failed, failed totally, to heed these warnings. We got lucky in a sense that the gas did not ignite which as a consequence could have led to a Piper or Deepwater type of catastrophe.  Hyman et al should be reminded that Shell pled guilty on behalf of its Directors to all charges placed before them. So whatever gloss you paint over the turd, Finlayson and Brinded failed as Directors in their principal duty to comply with the Law so that risks to those persons exposed to these risks offshore were minimised, as was their legal responsibility. read more

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