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 […]

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.

*+-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.

Kulluk Hearing Kicks Off in Alaska

kulluk aground

*+-The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday is kicking off its formal marine casualty investigation hearing into the December 31 grounding of Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig on Sitkalidak Island.

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Shell Says Kulluk Tow Was Motivated by Alaska Tax Bill [UPDATE]

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 Jim Snyder Avoiding a state tax played a role in Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s decision to move a drilling rig from Alaska waters, though the company said the vessel’s grounding days later was the result of an unforeseen worsening of weather. The Kulluk broke free from its tugboat in stormy seas on Dec. 31 and ran aground […]

Kulluk Tow Incident Timeline [INFOGRAPHIC]

Click image to download High Res

*+-Ever since the AIVIQ lost the initial tow of Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig on December 27th, there were so many new developments and information pouring out that it was nearly impossible to keep track of it all. We did our best to keep up – you can see our full coverage of the Kulluk Tow Incident […]

U.S. to Review Shell’s Arctic Exploration Plans

On Monday, Shell's Kulluk drilling rig was towed to a safe harbor after being refloated. Photo: Kulluk Response

*+-By Jim Snyder The U.S. Interior Department said it will review oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Arctic waters after the grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell Plc drilling rig this month and other equipment mishaps. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today the high-level assessment of drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas will be […]

Kulluk Drops Anchor in Kiliuda Bay – Photos and Video

Screen shot 2013-01-07 at 5.15.33 PM

*+-The Kulluk incident’s Unified Command on Monday confirmed that the Kulluk has arrived in its final safe harbor location in Kiliuda Bay where it will undergo assessment. At approximately 12:15 p.m. Alaska Time the Kulluk’s anchor was lowered to the bottom of the Bay, the Unified Command said in a statement. The statement also confirmed […]

Kulluk Reaches Safe Harbor in Kiliuda Bay [UPDATE]

Track show is that of the Aiviq at approximately 7 a.m. AKST. Via MarineTraffic

*+-Update: Anchorage, AK – Unified Command update for Monday, January 7, 2013: Unified Command has confirmed that the Kulluk, towed by the anchor handling vessel Aiviq, approached its safe harbor location in Kiliuda Bay at approximately 10 a.m., Alaska Time. The final location for assessment within the Bay will be determined by environmental conditions, including […]

Grounded Kulluk Ready for Tow

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.

*+-UPDATE: Kulluk Refloated, Under Tow by the Aiviq Salvage crews are ready to pull Shell’s grounded Kulluk drilling rig from the shores of Sitkalidak Island in Alaska. An update Sunday night from the Kulluk incident Unified Command said that salvage teams successfully attached the main tow line to the Kulluk drilling unit today at approximately 4 p.m. […]