By now someone must know something about the extent of damage?
Now it is an official investigation so the only info you will get is from inside that they will chase down quickly and snuff out.
Kulluk is designed and built for ice with 3 inch thick steel hull. It’s doesn’t have to be ice-worthy to get towed to it’s destination, just tow-worthy. That’s a much lower bar although presumably given the high level of scrutiny it will be under Shell will not want any problems.
I cannot picture them being able to withhold the damage assessment from the press, if they are going to tow KULLUK anywhere else. That would be another public relations disaster for Shell and the USCG. The press, Greenpeace, and Congress would be all over them, and there would be a lot of wild speculation that would take on a life of its own. I hope Shell is not that tone deaf.
If they have Dockwise come to carry her away, then that might be a different story. Of course pictures of that operation will probably come out.
Shell’s best bet is to be completely forthcoming and fully disclose whatever they know about KULLUK’s condition to avoid any public accusations of deception.
I’m really hoping that Shell can pull a rabbit out of its hat and go find billions of barrels of “Sweet Arctic Crude” in 2013.
[QUOTE=tugsailor;94956]I’m really hoping that Shell can pull a rabbit out of its hat and go find billions of barrels of “Sweet Arctic Crude” in 2013.[/QUOTE]
I’m on your side, tugsailor, but it’s highly possible Shell has way too much on its plate right now to be involved with “Sweet Arctic Crude” in 2013. As you posted, Shell best bet is to come clean with everything involved in the fuck-up of their own making - BUT - will they?
For more information contact:
Unified Command Joint Information Center at (907) 433-3417
Update #43: Kulluk stable as damage assessment data review continues
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Jan. 18, 2013
The data gathering phase of the Kulluk assessment has been completed. Unified Command confirmed the following information today:
There were a total of 12 divers and one ROV (remotely operated vehicle) used during the assessment process in Kiliuda Bay. The divers operated during daylight hours and functioned as data gatherers. No one was injured while performing the assessment. Multiple entities are involved in the review of data, including: the U.S. Coast Guard, Shell, Smit Salvage and Det Norske Veritas. These reports involve precise calculations; it is important to ensure the accuracy of any reports in order to develop the next steps for the Kulluk. At this time there is no firm date for completion of the damage assessment report. Once the damage report is completed, the Kulluk and any plans to move the vessel will be evaluated before it is moved to its next location. Water did enter some spaces of the vessel through damaged hatches. However, the water has been captured and is being safely stored in a compartment. The damage discovered on the Kulluk is consistent with what is expected from a vessel of this type being on hard ground. The fuel tanks are intact. Points of entry for water into the Kulluk are being sealed (i.e., windows and hatches). Additionally, tow brackets are being added for preparation for the next move. Unified Command’s priorities continue to be the safety of all personnel and the environment.
n Kodiak, moving Kulluk can wait until Tanner crab season ends
Ben Anderson | Jan 15, 2013
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Why did Kulluk leave Dutch Harbor? Essential repairs to be made in Seattle. Damaged rig will move to Kodiak's Kiliuda Bay. But when?
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Wednesday at noon, Kodiak Island fishermen will drop their pots into the water of outer Kiliuda Bay, hoping to bag part of this year’s 660,000 pound-quota of Tanner crab. Farther into the bay sits Royal Dutch Shell’s troubled drill rig Kulluk, still waiting for the results of a hull assessment following its New Year’s Eve grounding on the nearby Sitkalidak Island.
According to the Unified Command – a collection of agencies handling the response to the grounding of the Kulluk on Sitkalidak Island south of Kodiak on New Year’s Eve – the Kulluk will remain there until the Tanner crab fishery season ends. That could take mere days, as local fishermen say this year’s quota is a bit smaller than in years past.
Still unknown is the result of that hull assessment. Unified Command spokeswoman Rochelle Touchard said that the results of a hull analysis are still being scrutinized and there was no timeline for when they might be completed.
That means crab fishermen in the area may have to deal with increased ship traffic going to and from the city of Kodiak to the Kulluk in Kiliuda Bay, located southwest of the island’s namesake city.
The bad news? The Kulluk is in an area that would normally be a popular spot for crabbers to drop their pots. The good news? That area was already closed to crabbing this year after a survey of the area revealed the area might not have enough harvestable crab anyway. Tanner crabs, which can reach 4 pounds, are caught in crab pots similar to those used for king crab.
“Normally (inner Kiliuda Bay) is open, but they saw a large number of small crabs this year, and not many legal males,” said Oliver Holm, a Kodiak fisherman and member of the Kodiak Fish and Game advisory committee. “So it’s off limits anyway, but the outer portion of Kiliuda (Bay) is still open. I suspect there will be a fair number in there.”
Holm was waiting for bait before setting out later Tuesday evening toward his fishing area in the eastern part of Kodiak Island. He said that Shell has been mostly proactive when dealing with the impending Tanner crab opening, which was supposed to take place Tuesday but was delayed 24 hours due to weather.
Holm said that Shell has an on-scene coordinator that fishermen can reach through VHF, but the vessels dedicated to the Shell effort have mostly stayed in the portion of the bay off limits to crabbing.
“It shouldn’t be too bad,” he said. “If they suddenly decided to pull out of there because they got the okay and wanted to get ready for the drilling season next year, that might be different. But I don’t think they’re going to do that.”
‘Great sense of relief’
Theresa Peterson, Kodiak Outreach Coordinator for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC), agreed that the Kulluk’s location wasn’t ideal, but with no fuel leaks detected from the rig and the inner bay closed to crabbing anyway, it was a manageable scenario.
More than 50 boats are registered for the Tanner crab fishery, but a couple are planning to devote at least part of their catch to the marine conservation council’s Catch of the Season program, a “community-supported fishery” that delivers fresh seafood to subscribers in Anchorage and Homer. That program began with the Tanner crab catch in 2011.
Peterson – whose children and husband were on their way out of the harbor aboard their boat Patricia Sue for the start of the season on Tuesday night – said that there were a “couple of hundred” subscribers waiting for this year’s Tanner crab haul. Among them is Orso restaurant in downtown Anchorage, which is teaming up with Alaska Marine Conservation Council for a Tanner Crab Soiree on Tuesday Jan. 29 that combines high-end chefs mixing with Kodiak fishermen beginning at 6 p.m.
The council has heard few concerns from customers about the Kulluk’s impact on their orders. She said that fishermen had quickly approached Shell to let them know about the looming Tanner crab season opener.
“There has been concern, and fishermen have been going down and talking directly to Shell about it, making sure they’re completely aware of this fishery and the Pacific cod fishery that’s taking place,” Peterson said. “Of course, the concern was that the fishery could be shut down. But … since the rig has been moved and it isn’t leaking, there’s a great sense of relief among the community.”
Plus, it helps that the inner bay was already closed to crabbing for the year. “It would’ve been a mess if it was supposed to be open,” Peterson said. Unified Command has reported that a claims process has already been established for fishermen concerned that the Kulluk situation will negatively impact their crabbing season.
Unified Command spokeswoman Touchard said that Shell and the other agencies were prepared to accommodate the fishery in any way they could.
“Having a marine control on site to manage any vessel traffic, possibly implementing a no-wake zone, those are the type of things that would be to the benefit of the fishery,” she said.
Hopefully, it will be a speedy, productive season for the Tanner crab fleet, and the next step for the Kulluk can happen sooner, rather than later.
Contact Ben Anderson at ben(at)alaskadispatch.com
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Deck Watch: Kodiak community weighs in at Kulluk Tow Incident meeting
Posted by PA1 Sara Francis, Friday, January 11, 2013
Kulluk Tow Incident UC community meeting Kodiak
Ivar Malutin, a Sun’aq Tribe elder and 81-year resident of Kodiak, expressed his thanks for the efforts of the unified command and the Coast Guard in particular at a community meeting at the Kodiak High School commons in Kodiak, Alaska, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.
Capt. Jerald Woloszynski, commanding officer Coast Guard Base Kodiak and Ivar Malutin, a lifelong Kodiak resident and Sun’aq Tribe elder, give their comments during a Kulluk Tow Incident community Meeting in Kodiak, Alaska, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Deck Watch is a weekly radio program covering Coast Guard news and operations in Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard audio by Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs. Click here to listen to the show.
Jan. 4 – Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders received a report of a flashing light in the water approximately 9 miles north of the Akun airport from an airport employee Jan. 4. There are no navigational buoys or markers are in the area. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew to investigate. The Hercules crew saw no signs of distress and could not locate the source of the flashing light due to poor visibility. Weather improved over the evening and the reporting source reported the flashing light was still active. The watchstanders directed launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter forward deployed to Cold Bay to investigate. Once on scene the Dolphin crew located an uncharted spherical yellow buoy. The Dolphin crew completed a search of Surf Bay and did not see any signs of distress.
Jan. 6 – Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders received a request from the staff at the Seldovia clinic for a medevac of a 61-year-old man suffering from symptoms of heart failure Sunday. Commercial medevac services were unavailable due to weather. An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew safely transported the man from Seldovia to emergency medical services in Homer.
Jan. 6 – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a request from the staff at a remote lodge on Raspberry Island near Kodiak for a medevac of a 65-year-old man suffering from broken ribs and a broken clavicle Sunday. Commercial medevac services and the Alaska State Troopers were unavailable due to weather and access. An Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew safely transported the man from Raspberry Island to emergency medical services in Kodiak.
Jan. 10 – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a call on VHF-FM channel 16 from the fishing vessel Neptune crew reporting that they were aground on Raspberry Island and taking on water Thursday morning. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene and lowered two dewatering pumps to the vessel’s crew. Three good Samaritan vessels arrived on scene to assist including the Tempest, Silver Star and Arctic Dawn. The three crew of the Neptune were able to patch a 3-inch by 8-inch hole in the hull and intend to refloat the vessel on the next high tide. Upon arrival in Kodiak they will work with Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak to assess the hull repair and investigate the cause of the incident.
Jan. 10 – Assessments of the conical drilling unit Kulluk’s hull and seaworthiness for towing are ongoing. The Kulluk is anchored in Kilidua Bay about 25 miles south of Kodiak City. Several tugs and response vessels remain in the area to assist. The unified command for the Kulluk Tow Incident continue to work together to develop future plans for the Kulluk to transit to a port for repairs.
Salvagers tight-lipped on recovery of Kulluk drilling rig that ran aground
The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on January 18, 2013 at 9:24 PM, updated January 18, 2013 at 9:28 PM
kulluk drilling rig.jpg An inspector surveys damaged parts and equipment aboard the Shell Arctic drilling rig Kulluk in Kiluida Bay, near Kodiak, Alaska, last week. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The united command overseeing the salvage of Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill barge that ran aground on a remote Alaska island will release minimal information on the vessel until an assessment is completed, a spokeswoman said.
Shell’s drill vessel Kulluk ran aground New Year’s Eve on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak Island. On Jan. 6, it was pulled off the rocky bottom and towed a day later to protected waters in Kiliuda Bay within Kodiak Island.
The operation is under the direction of unified command structure made up of the Shell, the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Kodiak Island Borough. The unified command has acknowledged that the vessel remains upright, has not leaked fuel and has been examined by divers, but not much else.
“I know you’re looking for specific answers but we wanted to let you know that due to the fact that multiple entities are involved in the assessment of data, including Unified Command, Shell, Smit Salvage and Det Norske Veritas, Unified Command will not comment on the assessment until the report is finalized,” said spokeswoman Deb Sawyer by email in response to questions about the operation. She did not provide a timetable of when the report would be done.
Smit Salvage is a Holland-based salvage company. Norway-based Det Norske Veritas inspects and evaluates the condition of vessels.
The unified command said 250 people are in the Kodiak area as part of the effort and future plans for the Kulluk will be determined once a report is finished.
But the command structure declined to answer questions on how many divers and remote operated underwater vehicles were involved, what kind of data was collected, what inspectors might be looking for and whether anomalies have been detected.
The command structure also declined to say whether the inspection involves investigation of the vessel from the inside. No more details have been released regarding Kulluk generators that were knocked out or damage from seawater that entered through hatches that should have been sealed.
The Kulluk was built in 1983 for a Canadian company and purchased by Shell in 2005. The 266-foot-diameter vessel drilled last year in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast. Its funnel-shape, reinforced hull is designed to deflect and break up moving ice, allowing it to drill beyond the short open water season.
The anchor handler Aiviq was towing the Kulluk to Seattle when the vessels ran into trouble in rough Gulf of Alaska water.
A tow line snapped Dec. 27 and a day later all four engines on the Aiviq failed, possibly due to contaminated fuel. The vessel’s crew eventually regained power but four subsequent tow lines attached to the Aiviq or other vessels also failed before the grounding.
The unified command has said the Kulluk will not be moved before the end of Kodiak’s tanner crab fishing season, which opened Wednesday and usually takes four to six days, said state shellfish management biologist Mark Stichert. Predicted bad weather may delay fishermen catching the quota of 520,000 pounds, he said.
– The Associated Press
After Kulluk Hull Damage Assessment, Shell Mum on Damage Extent – State of Alaska Could Care Less
By: EdwardTeller Saturday January 19, 2013 12:43 am
Kulluk aground Sitkalidak Island
The oil drilling rig Kulluk, which spectacularly went aground on Sitkalidak Island south of Kodiak late on New Years Eve, was salvaged on January 6th, and towed about 40 miles to Kiliuda Bay, where it has been anchored since. Salvage experts have thoroughly gone over the inside and outside of the rig over the intervening days.
The so-called Unified Command structure, which was enacted before the grounding, and peaked on January 6th at over 700 people, more than half of which were government or Alaska Native corporation employees, is still in place, though much reduced. There are about 250 people involved on Kodiak Island, a smaller team in Anchorage.
However, Shell Alaska appears to be calling the shots at this point, when it comes to letting people know anything about the extent of the damage the ungainly rig sustained during severe storm conditions, and while being knocked about upon a rocky coast for a week:
The operation is under the direction of unified command structure made up of the Shell, the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Kodiak Island Borough. The unified command has acknowledged that the vessel remains upright, has not leaked fuel and has been examined by divers, but not much else. “I know you’re looking for specific answers but we wanted to let you know that due to the fact that multiple entities are involved in the assessment of data, including Unified Command, Shell, Smit Salvage and Det Norske Veritas, Unified Command will not comment on the assessment until the report is finalized,” said spokeswoman Deb Sawyer by email in response to questions about the operation. She did not provide a timetable of when the report would be done.
Meanwhile, after the U.S. Coast Guard, other Federal agencies, the Alaska Department of Conservation, other Alaska state agencies, Native entities and other local governmental functions have spent millions from the public purse, it appears the State of Alaska, perhaps the most oil-friendly state in the country, could care less.
Marine ecosystem and oil spill expert Rick Steiner queried Gary Mendivil, an Environmental Program Specialist with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of the Commissioner, about his concerns over the fragility of the damaged rig’s hull:
Under the auspices of the Alaska Public Records Act, I request a copy of all records, whether printed documents, still photographs, and/or video from the underwater ROVs or divers, pertaining to the inspection of the condition of the Kulluk as of this date.
Mendivil’s response was quick and brief:
Our response that no records exist is true for the entire department, including the Commissioner.
Steiner is concerned that the state DEC is a blank slate on this. He should be, as should we all.
He wrote to me earlier Friday:
The rig is anchored in state waters, had been hard aground for a week, has 150,000 gallons of fuel still on board, and has been extensively inspected, and that rests in the Unified Command, which state is part of …. And this is the state government that asserts it will maintain very stringent oversight of Arctic offshore drilling?
I had a short talk with Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell early this afternoon, after a presentation we both had attended. I didn’t push him on the Kulluk grounding, but should have.
I suspect the Unified Command will make an announcement on the hull and inner structure damage to the Kulluk soon. But, given the millions of dollars, and risks to scores of lives Shell’s hubris and negligence have so far caused because of this ungainly contraption, it should not be allowed to proceed until their assessment has been vetted by the USCG and the Alaska DEC and has been made public.
The damage discovered on the Kulluk is consistent with what is expected from a vessel of this type being on hard ground. The fuel tanks are intact. Points of entry for water into the Kulluk are being sealed (i.e., windows and hatches). Additionally, tow brackets are being added for preparation for the next move..[/QUOTE]
What’s up with the additional tow brackets? Two wires or tandem tow?
It’s a long tow to dry dock in Korea…
[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;95470]What’s up with the additional tow brackets? Two wires or tandem tow?
Sounds like they decided not to call Dockwise. I wonder if the SMIT ROTTERDAM is on the way.
I wonder if the Titan’s are on the way,
I have heard that the Rotterdam and her sisters had been sold and laid up
[QUOTE=rshrew;95479]It’s a long tow to dry dock in Korea…[/QUOTE]
No, I think the USCG is still owned by Shell and they are going to let the KULLUK go back to work without drydocking. That’s why everybody is so tightlipped since the rig was refloated. Backroom deals being made as we speak!
[QUOTE=Pilot;95508]I have heard that the Rotterdam and her sisters had been sold and laid up[/QUOTE]
It appears that SMIT ROTTERDAM (built 1975) may have been retired. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7FOoRGlR68
No, I think the USCG is still owned by Shell and they are going to let the KULLUK go back to work without drydocking.
The US Government is owned by the banks and China. The USCG is just a subsidiary and a pawn.
For God’s sake man, get your conspiracy theories right!
[QUOTE=BMCSRetired;95529]The US Government is owned by the banks and China. The USCG is just a subsidiary and a pawn.
For God’s sake man, get your conspiracy theories right![/QUOTE]
OK, the USCG is just a cheap whore instead of a bejeweled mistress!
[QUOTE=c.captain;95544]OK, the USCG is just a cheap whore instead of a bejeweled mistress![/QUOTE]
Bejeweled mistress? Methinks you have the USCG confused with the US Air Force.