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Thread: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

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    Default MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    now THIS is news

    The USCG said Friday that it is coordinating a response with Royal Dutch Shell representatives after the company’s brand new $200 million AHTS, the MV Aiviq, experienced multiple engine failures while towing the Shell’s arctic drilling rig, the Kulluk, approximately 50 miles south of Kodiak Island Friday.

    The crew of the Aiviq reported that they were able to restart one of the ship’s engines and is currently awaiting assistance from the crews of the response vessels Guardsman and the Nanuq, which departed Seward and are expected on-scene early Friday afternoon.

    A USCG release said that the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley is currently on scene and monitoring the situation.

    “Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the personnel aboard the Aiviq and Kulluk,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We are working closely with industry representatives to provide assistance and to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

    Weather on scene has been reported as 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas.

    The Aiviq (pronounced ‘eye-vik’) is a 360-foot ice class anchor handler built by Edison Chouest Offshore in Larose, Louisiana in support of Shell’s 2012 arctic drilling program off the coast of Alaska in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The MV Aiviq is said to be one of the most technically advanced polar-class vessels in the world and the first of its kind to be built in the United States. The vessel was built to American Bureau of Shipping A3 class—capable of breaking ice 1 meter thick at a speed of 5 knots.

    The Aiviq, with the Kulluk in tow, left Vigor Shipyards in Seattle, WA back in June but was forced to wait out a series of delays to the start of Shell’s 2012 arctic drilling plans.
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    Whole situation is a mess right now. The public will know more in the morning (local alaska time).
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    Hope everyone comes out of this OK, have heard they cut the tow loose....
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    From the Alaska Daily News:


    Shell drill ship and tow vessel maintain position with tug's help

    Published: December 28, 2012 Updated 4 hours ago
    12 Comments E-mail Print

    The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley attempts to attach a tow line to the tug Aiviq in 20-foot waves 50 miles south of Kodiak, Alaska, Dec. 28, 2012. Aiviq experienced multiple engine failures while towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk, the Alex Haley crew attempted to attach a towline to help limit vessel's drift and ensure the safety of the crews of the Aiviq and the Kulluk.

    U.S. Coast Guard photo

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    By CASEY GROVE — casey.grove@adn.com

    Amid gusting wind and rough seas, a vessel towing a Shell Oil drill ship lost its engines in the Gulf of Alaska south of Kodiak on Friday, rendering both of the massive boats immobile and at risk of drifting out of control.

    By Friday afternoon, a tugboat had arrived and was connected to the towing vessel, the 360-foot Aiviq, which was in turn linked to Shell's drill ship, the Kulluk, according to the Coast Guard. The tug was helping the two vessels maintain their position about 50 miles south of Kodiak Island, with plans to move them to safe harbor Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

    The welcome news came after the Coast Guard cutter had to abandon efforts to help the stricken vessels when the cutter's towline tangled on one of its propellers.

    After several setbacks for Shell in the summer offshore drilling season in the Arctic -- during which the Kulluk started an exploratory well in the Beaufort Sea -- the most recent trouble started Thursday.

    The specially designed Aiviq was pulling the Kulluk from Dutch Harbor toward Seattle when a buckle on its towline broke, sending the crew scurrying to establish an emergency towline, according to Shell spokesman Curtis Smith.

    "The buckle on the original towline failed, and that's something that'll have to be investigated later. It was a new buckle that was inspected in Dutch," Smith said.

    They successfully reconnected to the drill ship, but then the Aiviq's engines quit during the early morning hours Friday, leaving it and the Kulluk, which has no propulsion system, without the ability to move, Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley said.

    Seas were 20 to 25 feet and the wind was blowing about 40 mph, Mosley said. The 50 or so crew members on both vessels were dealing with an expensive drill ship 266 feet in diameter with a 160-foot derrick, he said.

    "You become at the mercy of the seas when you don't have propulsion," Mosley told the Los Angeles times. "The boat is going to go where the seas push it."

    If the two vessels had remained entirely without power, they might have contacted the nearest land in about two days' time, Mosley said.

    Contaminated fuel is the likely culprit for the engine failures, Mosley and Smith said. The Aiviq's crew found a fuel tank unaffected by contamination and cleaned fuel injectors on one of the ship's engines, which they were able to restart, Smith said. The one functioning engine and positioning thrusters, powered by electric generators, allowed the Aiviq to avoid "significant" drift, Smith said.

    When the first reports of the towline breakage came in to the Coast Guard, the cutter Alex Haley, on patrol in the Gulf of Alaska after holiday leave, headed toward the Kulluk and Aiviq, Mosley said. The Alex Haley's crew tried to launch its own towline to the disabled ships but the line fell beneath the cutter and tangled on a propeller, Mosley said. Because the cutter was no longer able to assist in a meaningful capacity, it had to return to Kodiak, he said.

    About 2 p.m., a tugboat, the Guardsman, reached the Kulluk and Aiviq, Mosley said. It had connected a line to the Aiviq and will remain with the vessels overnight awaiting a fourth ship, the Nanuq, expected to arrive early Saturday, he said. Both the Guardsman and Nanuq had been in Seward.

    "They'll theoretically be able to maneuver to a yet-to-be-identified harbor of safe refuge," Mosley said. "They're not necessarily going anywhere tonight as much as maintain their position to await the Nanuq tomorrow."

    Another Coast Guard cutter, the Hickory, was en route from Homer and will meet up with the others midday Saturday, Mosley said. The recent harsh weather was expected to subside over the next several days, he said.



    Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.

    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/12/28/273685...#storylink=cpy
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    LA TIMES


    Coast Guard cutter hits trouble trying to aid Shell rig off Alaska

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    Aiviq and Kulluk

    The Aiviq and Kulluk as they set sail from Seattle earlier this year for offshore drilling in Alaska (Royal Dutch Shell / December 28, 2012)
    By Kim Murphy

    December 28, 2012, 2:59 p.m.

    SEATTLE — Adding to a season full of headaches for Shell Alaska’s debut offshore drilling program in the U.S. Arctic, the company’s Kulluk drilling rig was stuck in monster seas off the coast of Alaska on Friday as its tugboat’s engines failed and the Coast Guard cutter that came to assist became entangled in a tow line.

    There were no immediate threats to crew or equipment, but Shell Alaska was rushing additional aid vessels to the scene as the Kulluk, which drilled the beginnings of an exploratory oil well in the Beaufort Sea over the summer, sat without ability to move forward in 20-foot seas about 50 miles south of Kodiak.

    “You become at the mercy of the seas when you don’t have propulsion. The boat is going to go where the seas push it,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley told the Los Angeles Times. “Twenty-foot seas, my office here, the ceilings are 10 feet high, and you’re looking at double that.”

    Shell Alaska officials said emergency power generators were enabling the tug vessel, the Aiviq, to avoid significant drift, even with the 266-foot Kulluk drilling barge, which does not have its own propulsion engines, in tow.

    Coast Guard officials said the Aiviq, which had been towing the Kulluk south from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, after the close of the drilling season, experienced not only tow line problems but “multiple engine failures,” and the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley was deployed to try to help.

    “They were towing in some heavy weather, and they lost the tow [line] between the Kulluk and the Aiviq," Mosley said. “They were able to reconnect, and as they started to tow again, the two vessels ended up with some issues on board that directly affected their engines — it sounds like it was a fuel issue. Not necessarily running out of fuel, but a fuel quality issue.”

    After working on the problem, he said, “They were able to get one engine back, which is giving them enough power to stay in their position, keep them from drifting anywhere.”

    Meanwhile, the Alex Haley had problems of its own when crew members attempted to attach a tow line from the Haley to one of the Shell vessels to help maintain positioning in the heavy seas.

    “They were unsuccessful in doing that maneuver,” Mosley said. The problem was compounded when the Haley’s tow line got wrapped on one of the ship’s own propellers. “It was the Alex Haley’s tow line, and it is reported that one of the screws got fouled with the line,” Mosley said, forcing the Haley to return to port.

    “The Alex Haley is still maneuverable and operable, just at a limited capacity,” he said.

    A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft was sent from Kodiak to the scene to maintain a safety watch, while Shell dispatched additional vessels to help. “We are currently cascading assets into the theater to help secure the Aiviq and the Kulluk,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email.

    However, the dispatch of those additional vessels is likely to delay the departure from Alaska of Shell’s second Arctic drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer, which had been held up by the Coast Guard in Seward, Alaska, because of reported “discrepancies” in its safety and pollution discharge equipment.

    The Discoverer had been scheduled to depart Seward for Seattle for additional maintenance and adjustments, but Smith said the dispatch of Shell’s response vessels to aid the Kulluk means the Discoverer will likely be delayed.

    Smith said the company’s main focus is the 17 crew members on board the Kulluk and the 24 aboard the Aiviq.

    “Our priority remains the safety of our personnel and the environment,” he said. “All of our efforts are dedicated to making sure the crews on these vessels are safe.”

    Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    From the Dutch Harbor Telegraph


    Coast Guard assists Shell towing operation near Kodiak
    [Aiviq leaves Dutch Harbor with Kulluk on 21 Dec.]
    Aiviq leaves Dutch Harbor with Kulluk on 21 Dec.
    Coast Guard assists tug and tow in Gulf of Alaska

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel are coordinating a response with Royal Dutch Shell representatives after the tugboat Aiviq experienced multiple engine failures while towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk approximately 50 miles south of Kodiak Friday.

    The Aiviq left Dutch Harbor on 21 December with the Kulluk in tow.

    The crew of the Aiviq reported that they were able to restart one of the ships engines and is currently awaiting assistance from the crews of the response vessels Guardsman and the Nanuq, which departed Seward and are expected on-scene early Friday afternoon.

    The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley is currently on scene and monitoring the situation.

    “Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the personnel aboard the Aiviq and Kulluk,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We are working closely with industry representatives to provide assistance and to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

    Weather on scene has been reported as 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas.

    This is a press release from the US Coast Guard. 28 December, 2012.
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    From Fuel Fix


    Coast Guard assists Shell towing operation near Kodiak
    [Aiviq leaves Dutch Harbor with Kulluk on 21 Dec.]
    Aiviq leaves Dutch Harbor with Kulluk on 21 Dec.
    Coast Guard assists tug and tow in Gulf of Alaska

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel are coordinating a response with Royal Dutch Shell representatives after the tugboat Aiviq experienced multiple engine failures while towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk approximately 50 miles south of Kodiak Friday.

    The Aiviq left Dutch Harbor on 21 December with the Kulluk in tow.

    The crew of the Aiviq reported that they were able to restart one of the ships engines and is currently awaiting assistance from the crews of the response vessels Guardsman and the Nanuq, which departed Seward and are expected on-scene early Friday afternoon.

    The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley is currently on scene and monitoring the situation.

    “Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the personnel aboard the Aiviq and Kulluk,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We are working closely with industry representatives to provide assistance and to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

    Weather on scene has been reported as 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas.

    This is a press release from the US Coast Guard. 28 December, 2012.
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    Buckle?...inspires confidence doesn't it.... Shackle...
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    From Anchorage Daily News:



    Crew of drill ship in Gulf of Alaska to evacuate

    Published: December 28, 2012 Updated 18 minutes ago
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    By Associated Press — The Associated Press

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard prepared Saturday to evacuate an 18-member crew of a Shell drill ship that was stalled in rough Gulf of Alaska waters, south of Kodiak Island.

    The Coast Guard requested that the crew evacuate the Kulluk for safety reasons. The guard said it would have no more details until the evacuation was completed.

    The Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill ship was being towed Thursday from Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands to Seattle when problems arose. By Friday, the ship was stalled in the Gulf with a towing vessel whose engines had failed. A relief tug was sent out on 20-foot waves and winds of 40 mph to rescue the ships.

    The Kulluk has no propulsion system. The 360-foot Aiviq was towing the drill ship when the Aiviq reported multiple engine failures. The Aiviq crew was able to restart one engine, and with generators had enough power to maintain its position. Two vessels under contract to Shell left Seward when the trouble began - the tug Guardsman and The Nanuq, Shell's principal oil spill response vessel.

    The Kulluk is one of two drill ships Shell operated this year in the short Arctic Ocean open water season. A round ship with a 160-foot derrick, it resembles a bowling pin in a bowl. It was designed for extended drilling in Arctic waters, and has an ice-reinforced, funnel-shape hull 266 feet in diameter. The conical shape is designed to deflect moving ice downward and break it into small pieces.

    The Aiviq is owned and operated by Edison Chouest Offshore of Galliano, La.

    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/12/28/273671...#storylink=cpy


    I could not get the location map to print. They are on the east side of Kodiak Island off Old Harbor.
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    when are they going to learn, never put a brand new vessel in harms way, it can only go wrong for a reason know-one ever thought of
    Who runs Shell these days, they hire the oldest boat in the world and it goes wrong then they hire the newest.....
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by mtskier View Post
    Buckle?...inspires confidence doesn't it.... Shackle...

    I cannot imagine how this Shell spokesman, Curtis Smith, has kept his job so long. Every time he comments on anything, he consistently projects the image that he, and therefore Shell, are a bunch of landlubbers that have never even seen a vessel before.

    I have no idea what they use for tow shackles on the AIVIQ, that's far beyond my horsepower, but I would imagine that its tow shackles all come with certificates attesting that they have been proof tested.
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    Default Re: MV Aiviq Breaks Down in Alaska While Towing Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig

    As for the DISCO, I just found this in ADN:


    Coast Guard finds safety issues with Shell Arctic drilling rig

    Published: December 27, 2012 Updated 8 hours ago
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    The Noble Discoverer prepares for its initial Chukchi Sea drilling operation in this view from the deck of the Tor Viking icebreaker September 8, 2012.

    Shell Oil photo

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    By KIM MURPHY — Los Angeles Times

    SEATTLE -- A drilling rig that launched landmark exploratory oil operations in the Chukchi Sea this summer has been cited by the U.S. Coast Guard for serious "discrepancies" in its safety and pollution discharge equipment, the latest in a series of vessel problems that have plagued Royal Dutch Shell's foray into the Alaska Arctic.

    The Noble Corp., owner of the 47-year-old Discoverer, disclosed Thursday it discovered additional deficiencies in its own inspections, including the possibility of unauthorized collected water discharges outside the allowable period for drilling operations.

    Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow, spokesman for the Coast Guard in Alaska, said the deficiencies were discovered during a boarding of the drill ship in November as it was moored in Seward, Alaska, at the conclusion of Shell's brief inaugural drilling season.

    "When these inspectors went on board and conducted their inspection, they noticed several major safety and pollution prevention equipment discrepancies on board the vessel that prevented it from meeting federal and international requirements for safety," Wadlow told the Los Angeles Times.

    The Coast Guard ordered the vessel to remain in port until the most serious of the issues were corrected. On Dec. 19, the detention order was rescinded, and the ship set sail for Seattle to undergo additional work in dry dock, Wadlow said.

    Coast Guard officials said they could not discuss the deficiencies in detail, but said they included problems with crew safety protections and also in equipment for preventing pollution.

    "They were serious enough that a port state control detention was issued," Wadlow said. "Basically, they weren't allowed to leave port until they were able to bring the ship into compliance with U.S. and international regulations."

    Noble officials said in a news release the problems included issues with the ship's propulsion and safety management systems. They said their own internal review discovered other potential "non-compliance issues," including "possible unauthorized collected water discharges outside the period of drilling operations."

    Federal regulations allow Shell to operate in the Chukchi Sea from July to September to avoid potential problems with sea ice.

    Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith said one of the issues involves possible damage to a propeller or shaft in transit from the Chukchi Sea to Dutch Harbor, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands, at the conclusion of this year's drilling operations, though that damage wasn't noticed during an inspection at Dutch Harbor.

    "Propeller vibration developed during the Noble Discoverer's journey from Dutch Harbor to Seward, and a tug towed the vessel into port as a precaution, and to prevent possible damage," Smith said in an email.

    Noble officials said they have already corrected some of the issues and plan to resolve the remainder during the previously planned shipyard stay.

    "This is a matter we take very seriously, and we're working diligently with the Coast Guard to correct the issues they've identified," company spokesman John Breed said in an interview.

    He said the possible unauthorized water discharges were not connected with any drilling operations. "Ships of all types collect water on board, and we're trying to investigate whether there was a potential for discharge, but it was not related to drilling. This was not a spill," he said.

    Curtis said Shell Alaska is supporting Noble in rectifying the issues found by the Coast Guard.

    "While we take these findings seriously, it is important to note they are largely associated with the vessel's marine systems and not related to this year's drilling activities," he said. "Shell and Noble completed a safe 2012 Alaska exploration season."

    The investigation is only the latest involving the Discoverer, a Liberian-flagged, ice-reinforced vessel originally built as a log carrier and converted in 1975 as a self-propelled drill ship.

    The vessel was detained in New Zealand in May 2011 for 10 inspection deficiencies, including failure to show evidence of minimum safe staffing, inoperable navigation lights, compass errors, overdue lifeboat drills and various certifications that were expired.

    In July, the Discoverer drifted from its moorings near Dutch Harbor, nearly running aground. And in November, Shell officials said there was a small flash fire aboard the vessel, at port in Dutch Harbor on its way back from drilling operations, which was identified as an engine backfire in the rig stack. It was quickly extinguished.

    Coast Guard records, reviewed by the Times, show the agency investigated three other "incidents" involving the Discoverer at Dutch Harbor, one in July and two in September. All three involved an "alleged pollution source," including an apparent discharge of oil Sept. 24. The vessel was given a warning, according to the records.

    Smith said many of the current problems already have been rectified.

    "Of the 16 items noted, six have been closed and 10 will be completed ... in the off-season," he said. "Many of these items were already planned for the Discoverer's postseason maintenance schedule. As you would expect, the Noble Discoverer will not deploy to Alaska next season until all of the issues have been corrected."





    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/12/27/273569...#storylink=cpy
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