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Breakaway Oil Rig, Filled With Fuel, Runs Aground

By Published: January 1, 2013

An enormous Shell Oil offshore drilling rig ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska on Monday night after it broke free from tow ships in rough seas, officials said.

The rig, the Kulluk, which was used for test drilling in the Arctic last summer, is carrying about 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lubricating oil and hydraulic fluid, the officials said.

A Coast Guard helicopter flew over the rig after the grounding at 8:48 p.m. and “detected no visible sheen,” said Darci Sinclair, a spokeswoman for a unified command of officials from Shell, Alaskan state agencies and other groups that has been directing the response since the troubles with the rig began last Thursday. read more

Failures that led to the Kulluk’s demise

As Coast Guard responders were scrambling to the scene on New Year’s Eve, officials told reporters an investigation will be launched into the failures that led to the Kulluk’s demise. Seas are expected to be up to 33 feet by Tuesday, with the potential for 40-foot waves as a large storm system delivers moisture from as far south as California. Satellite imagery shows the bulk of the storm headed right for Kodiak.

Tony Hopfinger, Suzanna Caldwell | Jan 01, 2013

A drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell that had been adrift off and on in rough seas since Thursday ran aground near Kodiak Island in Alaska on Monday night, raising concerns about a possible fuel spill.

The Kulluk — a $290 million offshore oil rig operated as part of Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts in summer — washed up shortly before 9 p.m. at Ocean Bay on Sitkalidak Island, located close to Kodiak Island’s southeast shores. read more

Shell Rig Runs Aground

There is reportedly up to 150,000 gallons of ultra-low sulphur diesel on board the Kulluk and roughly 12,000 gallons of combined lube oil and hydraulic fluid. The condition of the vessel has not yet been confirmed and overflights are scheduled pending weather conditions. Unified Command, using a US Coast Guard aircraft, plans to conduct a survey to assess the situation at first light. A response team will be deployed when it is safe to do so. 

By Dan Carpenter & Mike Ross Channel 2 News 6:46 p.m. AKST, December 31, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

UPDATE: The Unified Command handling the Kulluk situation released this statement Monday night. Check and the Channel 2 Morning Edition for the latest on this developing story.

ANCHORAGE, AK – The Unified Command reports that Kulluk grounded at approximately 9:00 p.m. AK time on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island. The crew of the tug Alert was ordered to separate from the Kulluk at 8:15 pm to maintain the safety of the nine crewmembers aboard the vessel.

“The extreme weather conditions and high seas continue to be a challenge. We have more than 250 people actively involved in the response efforts,” said Susan Childs, Incident Commander, Shell. “Our priority right now is maintaining the safety of our response personnel and evaluating next steps.” read more


By John Donovan 

The following are extracts from a warning email we sent to every UK MP in April 2012. We rung the alarm bells very loudly. As I said just days ago, Shell’s jinxed Monty Python Arctic Follies, plagued by misfortune and mismanagement, continues… with news today that the drilling ship Kulluk has run aground on Sitkalidak Island, in the Gulf of Alaska. Thankfully there are no reported fatalities this time.




Shell drill ship runs aground on Alaskan island

Associated Press –  Shell Alaska says a drifting drill ship that broke loose from tow vessels during a severe storm has run aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island.

Shell’s unified command center says the Kulluk grounded around 9 p.m. Monday. It says the crew of a tug boat had been ordered to separate from it earlier in the night out of safety of its crew members.

The Kulluk is one of two Shell drill ships that operated in U.S. Arctic waters in 2012. It had been under tow by a tug and a 360-foot anchor handler before it broke loose earlier Monday night. read more

Shell drilling rig grounds off Kodiak Island after towlines fail for 5th time

Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig, re-secured to two ships with towlines early Monday, grounded around 9 p.m. in rocky water off the southern coast of Kodiak Island during a pounding Gulf of Alaska winter storm, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard evacuated the Kulluk’s 18-person crew on Saturday for their own safety…

By LISA DEMER — [email protected]

Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig, re-secured to two ships with towlines early Monday, grounded around 9 p.m. in rocky water off the southern coast of Kodiak Island during a pounding Gulf of Alaska winter storm, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

A command team that includes Shell briefed reporters on the disaster with the Kulluk late Monday night.

It broke loose from a Shell-contracted ship, the Aiviq, around 4:40 p.m. Monday Then around 8:15 p.m., the second tow ship, the borrowed Alert, was directed to lose its towline to avoid danger to the nine crew members aboard, according to the command team managing the crisis, which includes Shell, the Coast Guard, the state of Alaska, and contractors. read more

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