Oil Rig off Alaska Is Damaged but Not Leaking: Shell, Coast Guard Say

"A Shell Oil drilling rig that ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska has incurred water damage to its deck and electrical systems but is otherwise stable, officials with the response team handling the accident said Thursday."

"The Coast Guard and company officials said there was no sign that any of the roughly 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and lubricants aboard the vessel had leaked or of other environmental damage caused by the rig, the Kulluk.

'Today we can confirm that the Kulluk remains upright and stable and there is no evidence of sheen in the vicinity,' said Sean Churchfield, the operations manager for Shell Alaska and a member of the response team.

Mr. Churchfield said salvage experts, who have been airlifted to the Kulluk by Coast Guard helicopters, were still assessing the damage. Plans for recovering the rig are being developed, he said, but the electrical damage means that salvage teams would have to bring new generators to the rig or work without power."

Henry Fountain reports for the New York Times January 3, 2013.


"Environmentalists Call for Arctic Drilling Moratorium" (FuelFix/Houston Chronicle)

"Shell Kulluk Ship Investigation Called For By House Democrats" (AP)

"Grounded Shell Drilling Rig Has Alaska Village Residents Concerned" (Anchorage Daily News)

"Rig Accident Shows Danger of Arctic Drilling: Green Groups" (Reuters)

Opinion: "Latest Shell Debacle in Alaska Part of a Larger Pattern of Risk and Failure" (Frances Beinecke/NRDC)

Source: NY Times, 01/04/2013