A runaway drilling rig owned by Shell has been safely towed to a safe harbour on Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska where it will undergo a thorough safety assessment before heading for repairs and maintenance over winter.
The rig named Kulluk was driven aground by violent weather on the southeast shoreline of nearby Sitkalidak Island on December 31, 2012, while under tow from Alaska to Seattle, Washington State.
Commenting on the incident, Marvin Odum, president, Shell Oil Company, said: We undertake significant planning and preparation in an effort to ensure these types of incidents do not occur. Were very sorry it did. Since the grounding, Shell has worked with all parties in the Unified Command structure to ensure a safe outcome and to protect the maritime environment in the vicinity of the grounded vessel. Thanks to the professionalism, dedication, and skill of all those involved in the recovery effort, Im pleased to say those objectives have been met with no significant injuries and no environmental impact.
At this stage, its too early to gauge any impact on our ongoing exploration plans, but with the Kulluk now safely recovered, well carry out a detailed assessment of the vessel to understand what those impacts might be. In the meantime, we will participate in the US Coast Guards investigation into the causes of this incident and will implement lessons learned.