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Shell Ignoble Discoverer

This photograph of the hapless “rusty barge” Noble Discoverer, which has made an embarrassing debut in Arctic waters, is one of a number that are the subject of controversy on Facebook as to their authenticity. 

Some related comments from a Shell retiree about the apparent grounding in Dutch Harbor…

…looks genuine. To Photoshop all those pics would be quite some work. And Shell’s denial sounds a bit lame. I would put my money on it this has really happened! Old rusty barge.  Shell claims to have spent a few billion on this project. If that is so, why not get a decent rig.

It is laughable, you just have to sit back and wait until Shell shoots themselves in the foot. You cannot make these things up, nobody would believe you. But it still happens. And the denial is like the denial of the minister of publicity in Iraq when they were overrun and he was still on TV stating they had nearly driven the Americans out of the country….


I think the rig hit the bottom – the accounts on the kucb blog are quite convincing…especially the report of the VHF calls to the tug going unanswered! And why else would the vessel have stopped when and where it did?

Hitting the bottom might not have done any damage, but they did not use the main engine to get away while waiting for a tow. From the photos it looks as though the vessel was pointing in roughly the right direction.

Maybe they just couldn’t start the 50 year old engine?

I wonder how long it will be before Shell announce that the ice is so thick that drilling is postponed until next year?

As you say, you could not have invented this – it is pure incompetence at every level. Maybe a little more effort in planning, and a little less focus on spin would help?

Shell’s claim of a 35mph wind speed is also the subject of comment from “Outsider”…

Attached printout shows weather data for Dutch Harbor on Saturday. The maximum wind speed is given as 26mph, which corresponds to Beaufort scale 5, a “fresh breeze”. The speed reported by Shell (35mph) is presumably a gust, rather than a sustained wind speed.


In addition to the photographs (which do not appear to suggest gale force winds) and the reported weather data, the attached definitions of the Beaufort scale may be of interest.


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