Drilling barge pulled from rocks off Alaska Island
ANCHORAGE - Reuters
This aerial photo shows the Shell floating drill rig in Kodiak Island, Alaska’s Kiliuda Bay, Jan. 7, 2013. The Kulluk ran aground a week ago. AP photoA Shell oil drilling rig that ran aground last week reached a safe harbor on Jan.7 , where it will be examined to assess its seaworthiness after a week on the rocks near an Alaskan island.
Stormy weather had wrestled the Kulluk from towing ships a week ago, and tossed it to the shore of Sitkalidak Island. On Sunday night, it was refloated ahead of the 48 km tow, before dropping anchor just past noon on Monday in Kiliuda Bay, which was previously designated a refuge for disabled vessels.
The fortunes of the saucer-shaped drillship, which worked in the Beaufort Sea late last year, face particular scrutiny because it was a major part of Royal Dutch Shell’s controversial and error-prone 2012 Arctic drilling program.
Shell said it had not yet been determined whether the Kulluk will be fixed in Kiliuda Bay or somewhere else, and whether it could continue on for planned winter maintenance near Seattle.