ANCHORAGE – A shell oil rig slammed into the rocks at Kodiak Island, about 270 miles south of Alaska, early Tuesday morning.
NDJ World | Published: Jan 01 2013 North America→World News
The ‘floating’ drilling platform weights 28K ton and got stranded during a storm. The US Coast Guard managed to get the 18 men crew on board the ‘Kulluk’ to safety.
The floating vessel carried nearly 178 gallons of fuel on board. According to Shell, no oil leak has been reported. Loss of the Kulluk and oil seeping into the ocean would mean a blow to Shell’s oil drilling near the Alaskan coast.
The US Coast Guard says however that no one knows at this point if oil is leaking because no one has been able to check out the damage caused to the area of the rig that slammed into the rocks.
The Kulluk had been having problems since Friday. The use rig is being maneuvered by the ‘Aiviq’ drag boat because it does not have its own steering device.
One of the cables running from the Aiviq to the Kulluk, snapped on Friday, causing the drilling station to drift. Five attempts were made to get the platform under control and a second drag boat was added but each time the station got loose.
Even the Coast Guards made an attempt the get the Kulluk ‘under control’ but failed in their attempt as well because of strong waves and high winds. The Kulluk is a huge platform with a diameter of about 85 meters. It cost Shell Oil Company $US290 million to build.
The Aiviq drag boat is a 330 foot long vessel Shell had build specifically – to the tune of $US200 million – to operate in the wild Beaufort Sea. At one point all four engines of the boat failed to operate.
For Shell, drilling for oil at the Beaufort Sea, has proven to become a very expensive endeavor. Two prior incidences occurred already with two other platforms.
One platform wasn’t strong enough to withstand the stress from the constantly pounding waves and another platform caught fire while drilling for oil.
The Kulluk is Shell’s third oil platform to have a disaster and to be put out of operation.
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