Tag Archives: Alaskan Coast

Shell’s Arctic Drilling Rig Runs Aground Off Alaskan Coast

2 Jan

Cross-posted from Common Dreams  by Lauren McCauley

The drill ship Kulluk is towed by the tugs Aiviq and Nanuq. Photograph: AP

Fulfilling dire predictions by environmentalists and conservationists that oil exploration and extraction in the Arctic was fought with peril, a Royal Dutch Shell offshore drilling rig carrying roughly 150,000 gallons of oil ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska on Monday night threatening the pristine waters with a potential spill.

The rig, the Kulluk—one of two rigs that Shell used to drill test wells off the North Slope of Alaska as part of the company’s dangerous and costly effort to open Arctic waters to oil production—wrenched free from tow ships by fierce arctic swells and gale force winds.

The incident is the latest and most striking example yet proving concerns over the ill-preparedness of oil companies and the incredible risks of Arctic drilling are well-founded.

The ship is carrying about 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lubricating oil and hydraulic fluid, officials said. Continue reading