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@Shell_Alaska Says Arctic Drilling Rig Kulluk Recaptured in Stormy Seas


By Jim Polson - Dec 30, 2012 10:05 AM GMT-0900

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) said an Arctic drilling barge, headed to Seattle for maintenance, was safely recovered yesterday after being set adrift during a storm in the Gulf of Alaska.

Crew of the Shell-owned barge, Kulluk, were evacuated last night as a precaution after towing resumed, said Curtis Smith, an Alaska-based Shell spokesman, in a telephone interview today. The offshore tug Aiviq recovered the Kulluk.

Shell has invested $4.5 billion in offshore leases and equipment and fought at least 50 lawsuits from environmental groups to begin drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year, the first... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-30/shell-says-arctic-drilling-rig-kulluk-recaptured-in-stormy-seas.html


Unified Command



DATE: December 31, 2012 6:20:00 AM AKST

Anchorage, Alaska – The Kulluk drilling vessel is under tow by the Aiviq and tug Alert. All three vessels are currently located about 19 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

At approximately 12:45 a.m., Monday, Dec. 31, the Alert was able to secure the 400-foot line that was previously the tow line used by the Aiviq. The Alert successfully added tension to the line to test its ability to hold.
Later in the morning, the Aiviq also restored its connection to the Kulluk.

Ensuring the safety of personnel and protecting the area's environment continue to be of the utmost importance.

Difficult weather conditions are anticipated to continue over the next several days. Unified Command is evaluating all potential options to further secure the vessel until the weather clears.