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Shell ship wreck debacle

By John Donovan

News update on Kulluk ship wreck debacle: Security guards are stationed outside the command post set up in The Best Western Kodiak Inn trying to stem the leaks of information feeding a media firestorm. Does that sound like the actions of a company wishing to be completely open about the crisis which has engulfed its $multi-billion  Arctic drilling misadventure? On the subject of leaks, Shell claims that the flooding below decks on the grounded ship comes from open hatches, not due to cracks or holes in the hull. That’s okay then. Shell shareholders can relax. Shell has admitted that the Kulluks generators are wrecked. The weather forecast for today is strong winds and high seas. In other words, more of the same conditions that led to the order to abandon ship in the first place and drove the ill-fated ancient vessel onto the rocks, and likewise Shell’s reputation (already holed by its past notorious “Touch F*** All” culture on North Sea platforms, putting production and profits before the safety of offshore workers).

Comment by “dutchdude”

Sad to see the mishap in Alaska. Many reasons why, but in my mind the foremost one is the relentless cutting of competent technical staff in favour of politicians. Transition 09 has done so much damage to this company, and has only propelled the quick talkers to the top. These managers are afraid of technical knowledge, and believe they are super anyway! Shell should go back to being technical first, and demonstrate a job can be done safely without all the pre PR. Voser and Henry have done tremendous damage to this company with their short term, quick gain plans.

Comment by a regular contributor: “Relieved”

I find it interesting that the Nobel Discoverer, Shell’s other drill ship in the Arctic, also needs a tug to be moved because its propulsion system has also had serious problems/failures.

I also find it interesting that Shell’s real interest in moving the Kulluk south to the States may apparently have been motivated by the desire to avoid paying millions in Alaskan state property taxes on the rig, etc.

And now the US Coast Guard has opened a criminal investigation of the way the Nobel Discoverer, their other drill ship, was operated. The crew has apparently been provided with legal counsel by Nobel.

Could things get any better ??? I guess we just wait and see.

Where are the Norwegians ??? Surely, they can do better than this.

In the meantime, here are a few more related articles for your readers:

Did Alaska Tax Liability Play Role in Shell Oil’s Drill Rig Fiasco?: Huffington Post (blog)-Jan 3, 2013: Hopes of avoiding millions in state taxes may have faded for Royal Dutch Shell when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1 and 2012 became …

Shell rig grounds off Kodiak: Dutch Harbor Fisherman-A move by Shell to avoid millions in Alaska state taxes may have backfired when the oil rig Kulluk ran aground Monday on Kodiak Island.

TIMELINE: Documenting Shell’s 2012 Arctic Drilling Debacle: ThinkProgress-: Shell’s oil spill response barge, a key piece of oil spill response equipment, repeatedly fails to obtain Coast Guard certification.

While Transocean Pays for Gulf Oil Spill, Shell Has Another Arctic …:’s this for ironic timing? As Shell fumbles once again in its push to drill in the Arctic, another settlement has been reached on the 2010 …

Transocean to pay $1.4 bn for 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

A Rig Accident off Alaska Shows the Dangers of Extreme Energy: TIME-Jan 2, 2013

Is Shell in danger of getting frozen out of the Arctic?: Houston Chronicle (blog)-by Loren Steffy-Environmentalists are using the recent accident involving Shell Oil’s Kulluk drilling rig to call for the Obama administration to halt all drilling in …

Coast Guard pursuing criminal investigation into Alaskan drilling ship: CBS News-… a 572-foot oil drilling and exploration ship owned by the Noble corporation, and contracted by Royal Dutch Shell to search for oil in the arctic.

Shell’s Drill Rigs Requiring Extra Federal Attention This Week: from Earthjustice (blog)-On Friday, CBS News reported that Shell’s other Arctic drilling vessel, the 572-foot oil drilling and exploration ship Noble Discoverer is at the ..

Salvage teams return to grounded Shell drilling rig: Anchorage Daily News-The Best Western Kodiak Inn is a hub for the huge command team trying to figure out how to salvage the Royal Dutch Shell oil drilling rig that’s …

Shell Starts New Year with Alaska Thud: 24/7 Wall St.-Though no oil is leaking from the stranded vessel, Shell’s work in the harsh region has been beset by problems even the staunchest of oil …

Immediate Hold on Offshore Arctic Drilling Called For: Kansas City infoZine-Shell Oil’s long string of accidents and mistakes – culminating with Shell losing control of its Kulluk drilling ship this week – makes it crystal clear what a bad idea …

House members want Shell barge investigated: DailyFinance-The Royal Dutch Shell PLC ship Kulluk was being towed to a Pacific … of diesel and about 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid.

Fuel tanks of grounded oil rig Kulluk facing toward Gulf of Alaska …: Alaska Dispatch-The schematics, submitted by Shell to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement in May 2011 as part of the required Oil Spill …

The Harrowing Helicopter Rescue of the Kulluk Rig: Popular Mechanics-How Coast Guard rescue hells braved cold and high winds to evacuate 18 workers from the Shell oil rig Kulluk, which ran aground in Alaska.

Exxon Mobil proceeds with $14 billion Canada oil field: Economic Times-In the United States, opponents of Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil program called on the Obama administration to put offshore drilling plans in the

Builder of tug that failed Shell’s Kulluk has moneyed Alaska ties: Alaska Dispatch-The company’s new 324-foot tug Aiviq was towing Shell’s conical drilling … that was contracted to service a Humble Oil Company rig in the gulf.

Shell Drill Ship Repairs Had to Be Done in Seattle, Company Says: Businessweek-The Kulluk’s grounding is the latest setback Shell has faced in its efforts to tap Arctic oil. Environmental groups said Jan. 3 they would ask …, Alaska, Jan. 4 (UPI) — A Shell Oil Co. official said he could offer no timeline for removal of a drilling rig grounded near an island …

Congressmen attack Shell over ‘alarming blunders’ in Arctic:“The recent grounding of Shell’s Kulluk oil rig amplifies the risks of drilling in the Arctic,” it said. “This is the latest in a series of alarming blunders …

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