Kulluk Grounding Report Relased by The Coast Gaurd

https://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/contentView.do?contentTypeId=2&channelId=-18374&contentId=482280&programId=21431&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2Feditorial.jsp&pageTypeId=13489&BV_SessionID=@@@@0434722270.1396554644@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccccadfmjhjklmfcfngcfkmdfhfdfgn.0

I read through it but I’m not going to say anything about what I think until some guys with way more experience then me can comment as I have no Alaskan or towing experience.

Thank you very much for finding this. Will lock and load the pointy stick while I read what I am sure is quite a whitewash job!

WOW…didn’t realize it as 30MB! That is gonna take a while to download with the tiny bandwidth I have available to me at the moment

Don’t be expecting the pointy stick to be firing any salvos till tomorrow

.

ARRGGGHHHHH! I waited for it to download only to find the file is corrupt and cannot be opened by Acrobat Reader X…

OH HOW VERY FITTING THIS IS!

I assumed it worked for you Jemplayer?

Must have been uploaded by the same Canadian firm that built the Obamacare website…

[QUOTE=c.captain;134412]ARRGGGHHHHH! I waited for it to download only to find the file is corrupt and cannot be opened by Acrobat Reader X…

OH HOW VERY FITTING THIS IS!

I assumed it worked for you Jemplayer?[/QUOTE]

No wonder I could not open it.

Anchorage Daily News quotes from the report find poor Shell planning, hasty departure motivated by avoidance of local property taxes, Aiviq crew negligence, and poor design of Aiviq fuel vents.

Well, I was able to download and view the report.

It looks like the Master, CE and 3rd Mate might have a few problems as it sounds like the CG might be coming for their Licenses. Also they were running a 12 on 12 off watch schedule *two watches) when they should have been working a three watch schedule.

From what I read it also sounds like the CE was not pulling FO from the proper day tanks. Each engine should have been using an isolated tank but were instead pulling from common tanks.

It will be interesting to hear what the guys with experience towing in that area have to say after reading the report.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;134426]Anchorage Daily News quotes from the report find poor Shell planning, hasty departure motivated by avoidance of local property taxes, Aiviq crew negligence, and poor design of Aiviq fuel vents.[/QUOTE]

here’s that full article

[B]Kulluk grounding: Coast Guard report finds series of failures, questionable decisions by Shell
[/B]

By LISA DEMER Anchorage_Daily_News

A series of problems doomed a winter tow of Royal Dutch Shell’s prized Arctic drilling rig and contributed to its grounding Dec. 31, 2012, near Kodiak Island, the Coast Guard concludes in a new investigative report. Pounding weather, including huge swells, rocked the round, hard-to-handle Kulluk rig.A design flaw allowed seawater into the fuel tanks of a new, custom-built tow vessel, and mechanical problems plagued the journey. Bridge officers, who had to work overly long shifts, had never before been responsible for towing a vessel across the harsh Gulf of Alaska. Crew members ignored alarms and some, including the captain, may have committed negligence, the report said. Shell’s tow plan was inadequate, poorly vetted and misidentified a critical piece of equipment: a huge shackle, or buckle, used to connect tow gear, the report said. That shackle, which received only a visual check before the voyage, failed and was lost in the storm. Shell made a strategic move to leave Dutch Harbor for a 1,700-mile winter transit despite forecasts of worsening weather in part to avoid millions in state property taxes to the state of Alaska, the Coast Guard found.The 152-page report was released Thursday, 10 months after a nine-day Coast Guard hearing in Anchorage into the circumstances and causes of the Kulluk grounding. The investigation was led by Coast Guard Cmdr. Joshua McTaggart of the Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise in Louisiana.

WARNINGS OF TROUBLE

The Kulluk was towed by the Aiviq, a vessel built and operated for Shell by Edison Chouest Offshore. During a fierce Gulf of Alaska storm, the Kulluk broke free and numerous attempts to get it securely under tow by the Aiviq and rescue vessels, including a Coast Guard cutter, failed.One Coast Guard leader who reviewed the investigation said the single most significant factor was a failure to assess and manage the extreme risks of the Gulf of Alaska.“In this case, the risks associated with a single vessel tow by a new purpose-built vessel of a unique conical-shaped hull, with people aboard, in winter Alaskan waters where weather systems and seas are expected to rapidly develop, were extremely high,” Rear Adm. Joseph A. Servidio, Coast Guard assistant commandant for prevention policy, wrote in the report’s comment section.Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the Coast Guard in Alaska, said in his written response that further investigation is underway to determine if Aiviq crew members committed illegal misconduct or negligence.Names of key players, including crew members and officers, were blacked out in the report including those who testified in the public marine casualty hearing in Anchorage. Even names of the federal officials other than McTaggart on the investigation hearing panel were redacted. The report said the captain of the Aiviq emailed the tow master on the Kulluk on Dec. 22, 2012, a day into the voyage, warning of trouble. The rig was on a journey to a Seattle-area shipyard for maintenance and repairs.“To be blunt I believe that this length of tow, at this time of year, in this location, with our current routing guarantees an ass kicking,” the Aiviq captain wrote. "In my opinion we should get to the other side just as soon as possible."No one was injured but the rig was severely damaged in the grounding. The Kulluk’s skeletal 18-person transit crew had already been plucked off by Coast Guard helicopter crews.Environmental groups and a key Senate Democrat said the report confirmed that Shell was ill-prepared for a complicated Arctic operation.Shell, which still is regrouping and doesn’t intend to drill on its promising Alaska offshore leases this year, responded that it was reviewing the Coast Guard report.“We appreciate the thorough investigation and will take any findings seriously. Already, we have implemented lessons learned from our internal review of our 2012 operations. Those improvements will be measured against the findings in the USCG report as well as recommendations from the US Department of Interior,” Shell said in a written statement.

TOW FOR TAXES CONFIRMED

Regarding the taxes, the investigation found that Shell believed the Kulluk was subject to state taxes on oil and gas properties. The tax would have been assessed on Jan. 1, 2013, if the Kulluk was still in Alaska waters. The Aiviq with Kulluk under tow left Dutch Harbor on Dec. 21, 2012.Before the grounding, a Shell spokesman, Curtis Smith, told a reporter in Dutch Harbor that the tax implications “influenced the timing of our departure.” But after the Kulluk ended up stuck on the rocky shore near Kodiak off Sitkalidak Island, both Smith and a Shell executive, Sean Churchfield, denied that the prospect of a hefty tax bill caused the vessels to leave when they did. Churchfield later admitted under oath to the Coast Guard investigation panel that taxes were a factor. “The Alaska tax laws also influenced the decision to make the tow,” the Coast Guard said.On Dec. 27, with the storm building, the Kulluk towline was stressed by extreme fluctuations in tension over a span of six hours. An alarm set to go off at 50 percent the strength setting of the tow equipment went off 38 times that morning, but the third mate mistakenly thought it was a different, faulty alarm, the report said. The shackle failed, the Kulluk was adrift and the seas were too rocky to reset the heavy tow gear with cranes. Crews temporarily connected an emergency tow line. But it soon failed as did others. Within hours, the Aiviq temporarily lost all four of its main engines. The Coast Guard determined that it appears the vessel lost propulsion as a result of seawater getting into fuel tanks through poorly designed vents. The Aiviq crew did not have a good system to check for water in the fuel and in fact may have become complacent about a recurrent overflow alarm that could have caught the problem.A 20-page analysis by the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Center in the report details a series of problems with the Aiviq’s fuel configuration and supply system including improperly installed filters.Tests of the diesel fuel in one tank after the grounding found 10 times the maximum amount of water specified by the engine manufacturer, Caterpillar. The water mixed with diesel to create a sort of slime. The saltwater corroded the fuel injectors, which had to be replaced at sea during the storm. “The Aiviq chief engineer may have committed an act of negligence by not adhering to good marine engineering practices with regard to onboard fuel management practices,” the report found.

QUESTIONS OF NEGLIGENCE

As to sanctions, the Coast Guard report recommends the chief engineer and several other Aiviq crew members be evaluated for possible actions against their Coast Guard mariner’s licenses. The Aiviq captain may have failed to ensure enough oversight of the towing operation. Bridge officers worked 12-hour shifts even though federal rules for long voyages limit shifts to eight hours. The third mate may have failed to ensure there was proper tension on the towline.Efforts to reach officials with Edison Chouest Offshore, which owns and operates the Aiviq, were unsuccessful Thursday. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, and a sharp critic of Shell who serves on the Senate Commerce and Environment committees, flagged the investigation’s key findings.“This report shows that Shell ran through every single safety and common sense red light in moving this rig because of financial considerations. This kind of behavior should raise major red flags for any future Arctic drilling plans,” Markey said in a written statement. "Shell should be held accountable for its reckless behavior. Michael LeVine, Pacific senior counsel for Oceana, said of the report: “The true significance of it lies in putting all of those problems in one place and having the Coast Guard point at Shell’s cumulative difficulties with management, oversight, and risk assessment.” Neither oil companies nor the government are ready for Arctic drilling, he said.The report includes recommendations including that the Coast Guard’s Towing Safety Advisory Committee examine the best tow arrangements for drilling rigs.

I don’t need to fire any salvos from the 18" pointy stick…the Anchorage Daily News has already fired one mighty powerful broadside with this!

[QUOTE=c.captain;134430]
I don’t need to fire any salvos from the 18" pointy stick…the Anchorage Daily News has already fired one mighty powerful broadside with this![/QUOTE]

The ADN article is a good lay person summary but the report fires not broadsides but well directed precisely aimed salvos.

The companies involved should buy a nice Rolex for each of the crew members that was aboard the tugs Alert, the Aiviq, the Nanuq, Guardsman and the rig Kulluk during recovery operations. Those crews got hammered hard in a long difficult operation in very adverse conditions. That was some no bullshit seamanship right there and I hope someone tells their story.

The people who planned the tow… with your shiny new hardhats and clipboards, get a job in sales or whatever, you don’t deserve having crews of that caliber working for you.

As far as the details, it pains me to say it but c.captain (and others) pretty much nailed it. Not enough surge gear, gear too light, wrong route. got caught on the shallow bank in shit weather.

The Aiviq did not have enough bollard pull and the gear was too light for a winter tow in the Gulf of Alaska. Basically they were well prepared to tow in the GOM on a nice hot summer day but winter in the Gulf of Alaska kicked their ass.

WOW! Pretty much what the consensus was on here. I am kind of surprised, yet relieved, that it is as critical and ruthless as it is! Hopefully lessons will be learned, grateful that lives weren’t lost and environmental damage was so minimal. The Crowley guys sure deserve some recognition.

The CG used a super-sized pencil sharpener for their pointy stick!

[QUOTE=z-drive;134437]WOW! Pretty much what the consensus was on here. I am kind of surprised, yet relieved, that it is as critical and ruthless as it is! Hopefully lessons will be learned, grateful that lives weren’t lost and environmental damage was so minimal. The Crowley guys sure deserve some recognition.

The CG used a super-sized pencil sharpener for their pointy stick![/QUOTE]

GODDAMMIT ALL TO HELL! Tried again to download the file but same result!

SHIT!, I NEED TO READ THIS REPORT!

[QUOTE=c.captain;134440]GODDAMMIT ALL TO HELL! Tried again to download the file but same result!

SHIT!, I NEED TO READ THIS REPORT![/QUOTE]

You can get a fix at Fuel Fix - Coast Guard blames 2012 Arctic rig grounding on bad decisions…

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;134441]-
You can get a fix at Fuel Fix - Coast Guard blames 2012 Arctic rig grounding on bad decisions… [/QUOTE]

Bad decisions? How about CRIMINAL BAD DECISIONS! Would have been had there been pollution or loss of life!

[B]Coast Guard blames 2012 Arctic rig grounding on bad decisions[/B]

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Coast Guard investigators on Thursday rapped Shell Oil Co. and its contractors for failing to heed the dangers of towing a drilling rig across stormy Alaska waters in late 2012 — an ill-fated voyage that ended when it ran aground on New Year’s Eve.

In releasing its report on the incident Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said tow planners “did not recognize the risks” or adequately plan for crossing the “notoriously treacherous” Gulf of Alaska during the height of winter.

While “a complex series of events contributed to the error chain that resulted in the grounding,” Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo said, “the most significant factor was the decision to attempt the voyage during the winter in the unique and challenging operating environment of Alaska.”

The investigation also concluded that financial considerations — including a potential multimillion-dollar tax bill from the state of Alaska — played a role in Shell’s decision to begin relocating the unpropelled Kulluk rig to a Seattle shipyard in late December 2012.

“The inadequate assessment and management of risks by the parties involved was the most significant causal factor,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for prevention policy.

The episode capped Shell’s first-in-a-generation bid to find oil under Arctic waters north of Alaska and continues to give ammunition to critics who say drilling in the remote region is too risky for even major companies to pull off. It also underscored the challenge in conducting even routine maritime operations in remote Arctic waters, where infrastructure is sometimes as scarce as daylight.

“Today’s report again shows that Shell did not appreciate or plan for the risks of operating in Alaskan waters (and) prioritized financial considerations ahead of safety and precaution,” said Michael LeVine, senior Pacific counsel with the conservation group Oceana. “The report again confirms what common sense dictates: Companies and government agencies are not ready for the Arctic Ocean.”

Shell is not seeking to resume drilling its Chukchi and Beaufort sea wells this summer, but it could ask federal regulators for permission to return next year.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said the Coast Guard’s inquiry “shows that Shell ran through every single safety and common sense red light in moving this rig because of financial considerations.”

“This kind of behavior should raise major red flags for any future Arctic drilling plans,” Markey added.

Shell said the company was reviewing the report.

The report builds on the findings of a separate Interior Department probe that said Shell had done a poor job managing and overseeing a web of contractors.

“We appreciate the U.S. Coast Guard’s thorough investigation into the Kulluk towing incident and will take the findings seriously,” said Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh. “Already, we have implemented lessons learned from our internal review of our 2012 operations. Those improvements will be measured against the findings in the U.S. Coast Guard report as well as recommendations from the U.S. Department of Interior.”

The Kulluk’s two-week trek across the stormy Gulf of Alaska began on Dec. 21, 2012, with Shell contractor Edison Chouest using its anchor handling vessel Aiviq to tow the drilling unit away from Dutch Harbor, Alaska. But when the vessels ran into a series of storms near Kodiak Island, the tow line broke and then the Aiviq’s four engines failed. After a five-day fight to tow the 266-foot rig to safe harbor, it plowed into the rocky seabed along an uninhabited Alaska island.

The Coast Guard said Edison Chouest may have violated laws or regulations by not reporting equipment failures and safety concerns. One of the four main diesel engines had overheated previously, and on Dec. 25, a minor leak was observed in the oil pan for a separate engine; after it was briefly shut down to check the issue, it could not be restarted.

A spokesman for Edison Chouest did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The Coast Guard also stressed that while personnel on board the Aiviq were “experienced in towing operations,” much of that work was in more temperate waters and didn’t prepare them for the winter conditions in the Gulf of Alaska. “The specific lack of experience was displayed during the towing operations on Dec. 27, where the crew took ineffective action to reduce extremes in towline tension during a period of nearly six hours,” the report said.

Shell also made the decision to move the vessel despite increasingly dire weather forecasts, prompting the master of the Aiviq to e-mail a candid warning to the tow master on the Kulluk. “To be blunt,” he said, in the Dec. 22 message, “I believe that this length of tow, at this time of year, in this location, with our current routing, guarantees an a– kicking.”
[B][U]
Although the two masters alerted Shell’s marine manager of their concerns and asked for a more direct route to the east side of the Gulf of Alaska to avoid the worst of the weather, the change in course was never formally granted. The Coast Guard report noted that the officials on the Aiviq and Kulluk had the discretion to make course changes under Shell’s tow plan[/U][/B].

Don’t you just love how masters always have “overriding authority” but never use it because they know that Joe Boss has overriding authority to fire their asses! SOME EFFING INDUSTRY!

I started reading it this morning with my breakfast, it’s a good one. That third mate ought to be shaking in his boots over the alarm issue, I wonder if he still has a job? The Master will probably be shuffled around and protected via the good ole boy network, doubtless the chief engineer as well. That is unless the USCG yanks their tickets. As for the chief testifying about some mystery fuel additive, 10 times the allowable amount of seawater! Some freaking additive!

But of course, no need for local experience, and don’t listen to the crew, what the fuck would they know? Good one Shell.

This is interesting, looks like the surveyor at MathewsDaniel would not approve the tow gear so Shell shopped around for a more compliant surveyor.

Shell contacted MatthewsDaniel prior to the KULLUK’s departure from the Beaufort Sea to request warranty survey services. In preliminary correspondence with Shell, MatthewsDaniel stated in writing that they “ would not approve a tow of the KULLUK from Dutch Harbor to Seattle during the month of November as weather data shows that seas can reach as much as 10\ meters in the Gulf of Alaska
.”
421.
The Shell Marine Manager stated that MatthewsDaniel was not hired for warranty survey work for the southern voyages of the KULLUK because MatthewsDaniel did not have personnel that could attend the vessel while in the Beaufort Sea. GL Noble Denton was contacted and had personnel who could attend the vessel.
43
52.
On December 15, the Marine Warranty Surveyor (MWS), Mr. was assigned to conduct the KULLUK
voyage survey. Mr. had conducted survey work for Shell on two other occasions. These occasions were the voyages of the KULLUK from Dutch Harbor to Seattle in 2011 and the voyage from the Beaufort Sea to Dutch Harbor at the beginning of November 2012
.
The GL Noble Denton marine warranty surveyor attended the KULLUK in
both the Beaufort Sea and in Dutch Harbor in late 2012 and issued tow approval certificates.
44
The warranty survey conducted in December 2012 consisted of a suitability report for the AIVIQ, inspection on towing equipment, and a survey of the KULLUK to ensure the vessel was ready for sea. He did not conduct an independent assessment concerning the overall adequacy of the towing equipment. He accepted the configuration contained in the towing plan as suitable for the voyage. He stated that conducting this type of analysis was not in his scope of work as a warranty surveyor and was never asked to assess the towing equipment configuration and components.

[QUOTE=Traitor Yankee

But of course, no need for local experience, and don’t listen to the crew, what the fuck would they know? Good one Shell.[/QUOTE]

Working with a gun to their heads, forced to operate with loss of job at stake, is reason enough to give these men a break. They have been through enough, will be better mariners for it and need to keep their dignity. Go after those who would let someone else take the hit for their decisions. Or nothing will be gained or learned.

let’s see if Chouest reacts publicly to the whole thing. Curious …

[B] Chouest could face penalty in Kulluk grounding [/B]

APRIL 4, 2014 — Edison Chouest Offshore could face penalties in relation to the grounding of the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk on the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, on Dec. 31, 2012. And the Master, Chief Engineer and Third Mate of the Chouest towing vessel Aiviq could face revocation or suspension of their licenses.

The U.S. Coast Guard yesterday released a redacted version of its report into the incident. It says that a series of events contributed to the causal factors that resulted in the grounding of the Kulluk, with the most significant factor being the inadequate assessment and management of risks associated with a complex vessel movement during the winter in the unique and challenging operating environment of Alaska.

Among the safety recommendations issued in the report is the recommendation that the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant partner with the Towing Safety Advisory Council to establish a working group to draft and accept a task statement addressing, but not limited to, the issues raised by this marine casualty, the towage of mobile offshore drilling units in the arctic marine environment and several other concerns.

The section of the report dealing with enforcement says:

ENFORCEMENT

Civil Penalty

  1. This investigation has determined that there is sufficient evidence that a violation of law or regulation may have occurred on the part of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) in that they failed to report the numerous marine casualties and safety related vessel issues contained in Findings of Fact (53 & 54) and Analysis (83 – 89) sections of this report. As a potential violation of the marine casualty reporting requirements as established in 46 CFR 4.05-1, this matter should be turned over to the cognizant civil penalty authority for consideration.

Suspension and Revocation

  1. This investigation has determined that there is sufficient evidence that the AIVIQ Chief Engineer may have committed an act of negligence by not adhering to good marine engineering practices with regard to onboard fuel management practices aboard the AIVIQ. This matter should be turned over to the cognizant suspension and revocation authority for consideration.
  1. This investigation has determined that there is sufficient evidence that the AIVIQ Master may have committed an act of negligence by not establishing sufficient effective oversight and procedures for the bridge officers aboard AIVIQ to safely tow the MODU KULLUK in the winter Gulf of Alaska environment. This matter should be turned over to the cognizant suspension and revocation authority for consideration.
  1. This investigation has determined that there is sufficient evidence that a violation of law or regulation may have occurred on the part of the Master of the AIVIQ with regard to the watch keeping system in place on the AIVIQ. As a potential violation of deck and engine room watch requirements as established in 46 CFR 15.705 requiring a 3-watch schedule for voyages over 600 miles. This matter should be turned over to the cognizant authority for consideration.
  1. This investigation has determined that there is sufficient evidence that the AIVIQ 3rd Mate, Mr.[NAME REDACTED] may have committed an act of negligence by failing to ensure appropriate tension remained on the towline and associated gear during his watch immediately prior to the shackle failure on December 27, 2012. This matter should be turned over to the cognizant suspension and revocation authority for consideration.

http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=6490:chouest-could-face-penalty-in-kulluk-grounding&Itemid=222

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;134468]let’s see if Chouest reacts publicly to the whole thing. Curious …[/QUOTE]

YEAH! I believe ECO deserves a HUGE shout out here…afterall they are a company who knows all an. d needs to learn NOTHING!

THEY’RE PERFECT…JUST ASK THEM!

What’s sad is this will just mean more paperwork for the guys on the boats

The 12hr watch issue is interesting as i’ll be doing a transit on a new build soon. As far as I know there has been no talk of changing from our normal watches. Very interesting report, still waiting for the Discoverer criminal investigation to be wrapped up. Should be interesting reading there too.