Kulluk towed to safety

January 8, 2013

Shell drillship finds safe harbor at Kiliuda

Kulluk in transit (Photo: Coast Guard Operations Specialist 3 Dale Arnould.)

Recovery teams were able to tow Shell’s Arctic-class drillship The Kulluk to Kiliuda Bay where it is now anchored at a safe harbor at Kodiak Island, the supermajor confirmed on 7 January 2013.

Shell said the drillship will undergo a safety assessment before continuing on to Seattle for further repairs and maintenance. ROVs arrived at The Kulluk on 8 January and will begin assessing the hull.

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil, apologized in a statement for The Kulluk incident.

“We undertake significant planning and preparation in an effort to ensure these types of incidents do not occur,” Odum said. “We’re very sorry it did.”

Odum said there were no significant injuries nor impact to the environment due to The Kulluk’s grounding. However, until a detailed assessment is conducted on the drillship, Odum could not comment on what impact, if any, the grounding would have on Shell’s ongoing exploration plans.

Severe weather caused The Kulluk, which was being towed to Seattle, to run aground on 31 December on the southeast shoreline of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska.



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