Finance & Investing
News Services
Newsletters
Get free industry updates via email.
Daily News
Weekly News
Equipment Updates
Weekly Job Register
Monthly Event Guide
Our privacy
pledge.


advertisement

Kulluk Reaches Kiliuda Bay, Will Undergo Assessment

change text size
Kulluk Refloated, Under Tow to Kiliuda Bay

The Kulluk drilling rig, which grounded onshore Alaska last week, reached its safe harbor location at Kiliuda Bay, Alaska at 10 a.m. Alaska time Monday, according to a statement from Unified Command.

The anchor handling vessel MV Aiviq towed the rig an average speed of 4 miles per hour over 45 nautical miles, which took roughly 12 hours. The Kulluk had refloated from its position in Ocean Bay off Sitkaliadak Island late Jan. 6 after being grounded New Year's Eve.

The Kulluk will remain connected to its support vessels while it undergoes assessment in Kiliuda Bay, approximately 30 miles north of Ocean Bay. The rig's final location for assessment within the bay will be determined by weather and other environmental conditions.

The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley escorted the rig to Kiliuda Bay along with two oil spill response vessels and other support vessels. A 500-yard radius safety zone around the Kulluk followed the escort and remains in place in Kiliuda Bay.

No signs of oil discharge were seen during the transit, according to a statement from Unified Command. The fleet has 15,000 feet of boom if needed, and additional boom has been staged in various locations. Unified Command reported that it continues to coordinate with the Old Harbor Native Corporation for potential clean-up activities. Additional spill response land resources have been staged in Old Harbor.

Unified Command – which includes the Coast Guard, Noble, Shell, Alaskan local, state and regulatory agencies and local community stakeholders – had been trying to regain control of the Kulluk after it came loose from the MV Aiviq Dec. 28. At the time, the rig was being towed from Alaska to Seattle for repair work. However, severe weather conditions hampered efforts for vessels to reestablish a link with the rig.

The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration issued a tsunami warming shortly after midnight Jan. 5. However, the Kulluk was located just outside of the tsunami warning area, and did not impact recovery operations, said Sean Churchfield, incident commander and operations manager for Shell Alaska, at a news briefing.

The state has received concerns regarding the upcoming fishing season, including the Jan. 15 scheduled opening of the Tanner Crab Fishery, said Steve Russell, state on-scene coordinator, during the Jan. 5 news briefing. The recovery operation does not pose an environmental threat that would preclude the fishery from opening. The Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Fish and Game are jointly monitoring any impact the Kulluk recovery operation may have on the Tanner Crab Fishery and other commercial, subsistence and sport fisheries.



Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Post a Comment Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Bill | Jan. 11, 2013
I suppose it is good thing this has happened early on in the project. No one was hurt and apparently there was no spill. But it was a real situation that tested the response and capabilities Shell has put in place. Hopefully this will give everyone involved some confidence that offshore drilling operations in the arctic can be conducted responsibly.

James Brannick | Jan. 7, 2013
Its amazing how quickly these various agencies pull there resources together to rectify the situation. That in itself must be commended.


Related Companies

More from this Author
Karen Boman
Senior Editor | Rigzone.com
 -  Comprehensive Program Needed to Addres... (Apr 23)
 -  Subsea Friction Clamps May Provide Mor... (Apr 18)
 -  Stover to Succeed Davidson as Noble En... (Apr 15)
 -  Hospital Disinfectant Gaining Ground a... (Apr 9)
 -  Deloitte: CFOs Worries Return on 2014 ... (Apr 3)
Most Popular Articles
From the Career Center
Jobs that may interest you
EHS Completions Manager
Expertise: Client Representative, Environmental Safety & Training, HSE Manager / Advisor
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
 
Manager, QHSE
Expertise: HSE Manager / Advisor
Location: Houston, TX
 
EHS - Water Resource Specialist
Expertise: Environmental Engineer, Environmental Safety & Training, HSE Manager / Advisor
Location: Houston, TX
 
search for more jobs