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Shell drilling rig runs aground off Alaska

02/01/2013 15:17:53

Waves crash over the conical drilling unit Kulluk where it sits aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island. A Unified Command, consisting of the Coast Guard, federal, state and local partners and industry representatives was established in respons

Rig stuck on rocks hear Kodiak Island
January 2012. A drilling rig, owned by Shell, has run aground on the coast of Alaska. The rig, called the Kulluk, broke its tow cable and an engine failed while being relocated during rough, stormy weather.

Kulluk grounded on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island. The crew of the tug Alert was ordered to separate from the Kulluk at 8:15 p.m. 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."

"The grounding of Shell's Arctic rig, which contains tens of thousands of gallons of fuel oil, is yet another example of how utterly incapable this company is of operating safely in one of the planet's most remote and extreme environments.

"Shell has lurched from one Arctic disaster to the next, displaying staggering ineptitude every step of the way. Were the pristine environment of the frozen north not at risk of an oil spill it would be almost comical. Instead it's tragic. We're moving closer to a major catastrophe in the Arctic and the US government appears unwilling to provide either the needed oversight or emergency backup the company's incompetence requires."

Ayliffe added: "Rather than opening up the high north to oil firms we need to keep this fragile place off-limits to reckless industrialisation. Greenpeace and the millions of people who have joined us to save the Arctic will be keeping a very close eye on developments in Kodiak."

There were no personnel aboard the Kulluk at the time of grounding, and no injuries have been reported.

150,000 gallons of diesel
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 over flights are scheduled pending weather conditions.

Location of the grounded rig.



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