NTSB: Shell’s Poor Planning Caused 2012 Grounding of Kulluk Rig

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak conducts hoists of the first six of 18 crewmen from the mobile drilling unit Kulluk 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. The tug Aiviq suffered problems towing the Kulluk Thursday prompting the Coast Guard to deploy cutters and aircraft to while Royal Dutch Shell dispatched additiona tugs. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

  The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that inadequate planning by Shell ultimately led to the grounding of the the company's Kulluk drilling rig in Alaska in 2012. The Shell owned ice-class mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk grounded in heavy weather near Ocean Bay on the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island off Kodiak on December 31, 2012 … [Read more...]

Shell’s Grounded Drilling Rig Product Of Poor Tow Plan Says USCG

The Kulluk drilling rig under tow by the MV Aiviq (front) 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, on Saturday, December 29, 2012, shortly after the Aiviq began experiencing engine problems. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

By Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska, April 3 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell ignored warnings about the dangers of a towing mission that left a drillship grounded in the storm-tossed Gulf of Alaska in 2012, in part to avoid paying millions of dollars in state property taxes, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a report released on Thursday. The Kulluk, having completed preliminary … [Read more...]

U.S. Coast Guard Concludes Kulluk Hearings

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Kodiak overflies the tugs Aiviq and Nanuq tandem towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, two days after the Aiviq began experiencing engine problems. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Usher.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday said it has wrapped up its formal marine casualty investigation hearing on the contributing causes that led to the grounding of Shell's Kulluk drilling rig in Alaska on Dec. 31, 2012. Testimony gathered during the nine-day closed-door hearing will now be reviewed and added to the ongoing formal marine casualty … [Read more...]

Kulluk Hearing Kicks Off in Alaska

kulluk aground

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday kicked off its formal marine casualty investigation hearing into the December 31 grounding of Shell's Kulluk drilling rig on Sitkalidak Island. The closed-door hearing, which is being held in Anchorage, Alaska, will look to examine the facts, circumstances, and causal factors involved in the Kulluk grounding. The Kulluk, a conical drilling … [Read more...]

Ship Photos of The Day – Kulluk Rig Gets Loaded for Asia

Kulluk 2

On Tuesday March 19, 2013, Shell's Kulluk drilling rig was loaded onboard the Chinese heavy lift ship, Xiang Rui Kou, in Captain's Bay, Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands. The Kulluk will eventually be hauled to an Asian yard for repairs to fix damages sustained when it grounded on Sitkalidak Island in January.   gCaptain's full coverage of the Kulluk … [Read more...]

Kulluk Rig Ready to Move

The tug Nanuq and the tug Aiviq (not pictured) tow the mobile drilling unit Kulluk in 15 to 20-foot seas. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

ANCHORAGE, AK — The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday said it has lifted the order restricting the movement of Shell's Kulluk drilling rig from Kiliuda Bay, meaning the operation to tow the damaged rig to Dutch Harbor could begin at any time. “I reviewed all of the relevant and available information and determined that Shell has met the requirements of the Captain of … [Read more...]

Shell’s Damaged Kulluk Rig Heading to Asia for Repairs

Shell's 2012 failed arctic drilling campaign culminated in the Kulluk drilling rig running aground in Alaska after breaking free from during a tow to Washington. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

In fact, Shell is sending both Alaskan rigs to Asia for repairs By Brian Swint (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc sent two of its drill rigs in Alaska to Asian shipyards for repair, casting doubt over prospects for exploration in the Arctic this year. The Kulluk, damaged when it ran aground six weeks ago, will be towed to a dry dock in Asia, Europe’s biggest … [Read more...]