Kulluk Grounding Report Released by USCG # 2

Here is the link to the report.

Here is a link to Kulluk Grounding Report Released by Coast Guard (#1)

Admin rules are if a thread gets out of hand it gets deleted. We don 't want to lose the other one.

Avoid personal remarks.

No new info in this article from Workboat, but interesting read none the less.

In his review of the report, Rear Adm. T. P. Ostebo said a “complex series of events contributed to the error chain that resulted in the grounding.” That’s just a polite way of saying the situation was totally screwed up.

Someone once said that no major incident is the result of a single event. It is always a series of cascading events that escalate a situation into an incident.

MAN it’s going to take forever to get this thread going at the pace of the first one…

than one was a Juggernaut!

Common sense decision making is the application of good judgement and intuition using past experience to solve new problems. Image if a hunter-gather from the rain forest swapped places with a NY cabbie. Common sense wouldn’t help either one.

Process based decision making is using check-lists and formal evaluation of the situation.

If you take an experienced and competent mariner from the GOM, one that uses a common sense approach, and have him sail in the Gulf of Alaska in winter, well that’s a risk factor…

You can believe in a common sense & local knowledge approach, a process based approach, or some combination of the two but you can’t reject both local knowledge and the planning process.

=============================================================================================

An example of common sense local knowledge approach are the development of simple rules to deal with the weather.

The GOM has three kinds of weather

Good weather - business as usual
Cold front - take the usual precautions
Hurricane - Call the boss and discuss.

When I worked in Alaska it was;

  • Listen to Peggy Dyson twice a day.
  • Pay attention if she said the words “storm warning”
  • Stay close to sheltered waters as much as possible in winter.

here’s that Workboat article…looks like Bruce Buls was been reading the old thread on this subject

[B]Shell and Edison Chouest Offshore rebuked by Coast Guard[/B]

Bruce Buls
April 10, 2014

On Dec. 22, 2012, the day after the Aiviq left Dutch Harbor for Seattle with the Kulluk in tow, the captain sent an email to the tow master riding behind on the drilling rig. “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.”

He was right. They got that ass kicking big time as towing gear failed five times and all main engines on the Aiviq conked out due to water-contaminated fuel. Eventually, even with the help of the Coast Guard and several other rescue vessels, the Kulluk was intentionally released and ran aground on an island beach south of Kodiak on New Year’s Eve.

Now Edison Chouest Offshore, the owner of the Aiviq, and Shell, owner of the Kulluk, are getting their asses kicked again, this time by the Coast Guard. The recently released report on the Coast Guard’s investigation reveals shoddy planning and performance by both parties throughout the unfortunate episode. The Coast Guard is even continuing to investigate “acts of misconduct and negligence” on the part of the Aiviq’s chief engineer, master and third mate.

[B][U]Essentially, the 152-page report says that Shell Oil and Edison Chouest didn’t know what they were getting into and weren’t prepared for the worst.[/U][/B]

Only one vessel to tow the ungainly Kulluk across the Gulf of Alaska in December and January? Not even a tug escort?

And that single towing vessel, the purpose-built Aiviq, had known problems with fuel-tank vents susceptible to seawater intake, but it headed out into the stormy seas of Alaska anyway?

The report also makes clear that Shell arranged to get the Kulluk out of Alaska before the end of the year in order to avoid paying taxes that would be levied if the rig were still in the state in 2013.

In his review of the report, Rear Adm. T.P. Ostebo said a “complex series of events contributed to the error chain that resulted in the grounding.” [B][U]That’s just a polite way of saying the situation was totally screwed up.[/U][/B]

The 10-day trip from Dutch Harbor that ended with the rig’s grounding was certainly a nightmare for everyone involved. From broken towing gear to dead engines, all endured during some really heavy weather, it must have been horrific. And many aboard the Aiviq and the other vessels and aircraft that joined the fray certainly performed ably and responsibly, although to no avail.

The good news is that no one was injured or killed and environmental damage was nil.

[B][U]The bad news is that Shell and ECO didn’t know what they were doing[/U][/B].

[QUOTE=c.captain;135053]MAN it’s going to take forever to get this thread going at the pace of the first one…[/QUOTE]

After reading the entire report, word for word, there really isn’t much more to be said. I think the report just formalizes what we all wrote and suggested even as the events unfolded, the entire operation and its major players were not competent to conduct that operation. The reasons for the incompetence are as varied as the actors, a shoreside management that knew nothing about the operation other than the accountants said it had to proceed and senior officers on the vessel who willfully ignored (or were just ignorant of) the standards and regulations and procedures that should have been in place and followed.

The only unknown now is if the CG will suspend or revoke some licenses and if the Feds go after the shoreside bunch with criminal charges. I suspect that since there was no pollution incident and no one died, the CG will repay ECO for favors past and future by allowing this incident to fade away. No one outside Alaska and this site knows much about the incident or understands how and why it happened. There is not going to be an Exxon Valdez microscopic evaluation of every component of the event. Hell, even there the CG and Feds didn’t make much noise about the failure to hold anyone responsible for the lack of spill response because it made them look as bad as the terminal and oil companies.

Unless some ECO sycophant shows up to try and defend the incompetence of the master and chief there really isn’t much more that can be said that we didn’t say the first time, and while it was happening. I hope that this incident shows that the collective experience and knowledge of the “crowd” on this site is an accurate and reliable source of fundamental background for this type of incident. It is an example of a specific type of “crowdsourcing” that has been shown to be valid. Bounty being the other excellent example of what this “crowd” has to offer.

I agree…we’ve covered all aspects of the entire debacle in detail already and even if a certain sycophant raises their head here again, I ain’t biting. He was totally alone before and will remain so here if he even attempts to return.

There is only one big question unanswered in my mind and that is what is Shell going to change moving forward now that this report is public? I pray the changes are massive and sweeping. I expect nothing at all from ECO unless it results from Shell forcing them to change their modus operandi.

.

[QUOTE=c.captain;135063]
There is only one big question unanswered in my mind and that is what is Shell going to change moving forward now that this report is public? I pray the changes are massive and sweeping. I expect nothing at all from ECO unless it results from Shell forcing them to change their modus operandi.[/QUOTE]

I can’t seem much changing unless the State of Alaska demands the CG perform strict oversight on all oil related marine activities or takes that upon itself. Both of those options are a bit scary since the CG lacks the skilled personnel to oversee much beyond looking for magic pipes and checking weekend boaters for expired flares, and the State isn’t a whole let better off.

The report is fairly comprehensive and it points out a lot of design and construction issues that should have been caught by ABS and the CG long before they contributed to this mess. Just looking at some of the photos shows several items that appear to indicate some real shade tree installation techniques and lack of understanding of the systems on which they are installed. How did the CG allow this sort of thing? Doesn’t ECO have a shoreside technical support staff to identify this sort of thing and correct them before they contribute to a casualty?

It is obvious that ECO lacks a culture whereby the monkey wrench and hammer types from the bayou are not filtered out or at least made to work under close scrutiny. Apparently the same applies to the deck officers. This type of culture will not change from within, it has to be forced on them by someone with a very big and very pointy stick with the willingness to use it. I don’t think any such stick wielder exists in this country. The likely candidates all have too close a relationship with the people they are supposed to regulate. There are too many retired admirals in bed with the oil companies and ECO, and the State of Alaska is famous for its cozy relationships with corporate lobbyists and anyone who delivers Federal funding.

As damning as the report is, the rest of the story must have been really really bad or it would have been a total whitewash.

It’s pretty obvious when you read the report, that one can not use a shipping company that does not have experience with the type of ship and the latitude to do this kind of work. One can not go for the cheapest solution when going to start with drilling in the Arctic. It might prove costly as this case showed.

C.captain and I have had a disagreement for awhile. He maintains that Aiviq is a poorly designed compromise boat for too many different missions and will never be any good at any of them. I have maintained that Aiviq just has a few bugs to be worked out and that it will eventually prove to be a successful boat. So far, it looks like c.captain is winning this argument.

What do you think?

[QUOTE=Kraken;135069]It’s pretty obvious when you read the report, that one can not use a shipping company that does not have experience with the type of ship and the latitude to do this kind of work. One can not go for the cheapest solution when going to start with drilling in the Arctic. It might prove costly as this case showed.[/QUOTE]

What do you get when a Cajun boatbuilder tries to imitate a Norwegian? ------ A drifting Aiviq.

What do you get when a Cajun mudboatman tries to imitate an Alaska tugboatman? -------- Kulluk on the rocks.

One would think they will get it right eventually.

I saw the ECO boys (incl. the Boss) over in Ulsteinvik sniffing around the yards a few months ago, and of course Island Offshore is exactly right there. It is not as if the ability to gather relevant information is not there, so it is reasonable to think they have been gathering it. Boat designing & building ain’t rocket science and every squarehead in Norway speaks a darned good English.

These guys are all Norwegian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE

[QUOTE=tugsailor;135070]What do you think?[/QUOTE]

I think having a boat designed and built in the bayou for subarctic use shows why it shouldn’t be done.

The fuel system design alone shows Bubba was way over his head and ABS failed to catch what should have been obvious points of failure. The CG inspectors should have seen that even a competent and dedicated engineer would have found it impossible to manage the fuel system* properly. The results were virtually inevitable.

*as shown in the photographs. If the drains were located where they were supposed to be and sight glasses were fitted in the locations provided, at least then a competent engineer would have discovered the problems early enough to have sounded a warning. As is, someone who should have known better allowed what is shown on the photos and an incompetent chief engineer never bothered to correct the arrangement and didn’t know enough to recognize the parade of red flags that were passing in front of him.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;135070]C.captain and I have had a disagreement for awhile. He maintains that Aiviq is a poorly designed compromise boat for too many different missions and will never be any good at any of them. I have maintained that Aiviq just has a few bugs to be worked out and that it will eventually prove to be a successful boat. So far, it looks like c.captain is winning this argument.

What do you think?[/QUOTE]

I have to agree with c.captain Aiviq is a MUV (Multi Useless Vessel), ECO tried to cover too many fields with the same vessel.

Just to make a comparison, I saw a rigg move in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea in desember, and to move one rigg, four big AHTS was applied. Thats the way to do a rigg move in bad weather conditions. Expensive but safe.

Shell has been in the game too long to not know that safety comes first when you operate in extreme environments. I hope they incur a hefty fine for the accident.

To clarify the MUV: http://books.google.no/books?id=8Z0AvuwgrzEC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=Multi+Useless+Vessel&source=bl&ots=O0zv1rk0nI&sig=P_CPEvxP8mZvQIac6_y0v1EzQsU&hl=no&sa=X&ei=cC1IU5OUFbCisAS5iYGgAw&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Multi%20Useless%20Vessel&f=false

I think ECO should buy this book: http://www.haugenbok.no/resverk.cfm?st=free&q=Marine%20Navigation%20and%20Safety%20of%20Sea%20Transportation&p=1&r=2&cid=220637 maybe they can improve a bit :smiley:

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;135057]Common sense decision making is the application of good judgement and intuition using past experience to solve new problems. Image if a hunter-gather from the rain forest swapped places with a NY cabbie. Common sense wouldn’t help either one.

Process based decision making is using check-lists and formal evaluation of the situation.

If you take an experienced and competent mariner from the GOM, one that uses a common sense approach, and have him sail in the Gulf of Alaska in winter, well that’s a risk factor…

You can believe in a common sense & local knowledge approach, a process based approach, or some combination of the two but you can’t reject both local knowledge and the planning process.

=============================================================================================

An example of common sense local knowledge approach are the development of simple rules to deal with the weather.

The GOM has three kinds of weather

Good weather - business as usual
Cold front - take the usual precautions
Hurricane - Call the boss and discuss.

When I worked in Alaska it was;

  • Listen to Peggy Dyson twice a day.

  • Pay attention if she said the words “storm warning”

  • Stay close to sheltered waters as much as possible in winter.[/QUOTE]

    Peggy Dyson aka “Four Meg Peg” sounded good even when the weather didn’t. Too bad she was off air for this one, she might have made a difference. Seems like yesterday, but when she was on, everybody listened in.

In 1974 when Peggy Dyson would get on the radio to her late husband Oscar, a crabber out of Kodiak, Alaska, to ask him “How is it out there today?”. Those chats grew into a service that Peggy provided until January of 1999. It was in 1974 that NOAA contracted Peggy as a ship-to-shore weather broadcaster for the National Weather Service. At 0800 and 1800 hours seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, Peggy, on her radio station WBH-29, would provide National Weather Service forecasts to the mariners plying the waters of Alaska. In turn, she would ask them how the weather and sea state were at their location, and would then relay that information to the forecasters who would use it to refine their predictions. In addition to weather reports, there were often reports of volcano eruptions and earthquakes, and in many instances, her broadcasts included more personal messages - the birth of a child, or a death in the family. Peggy performed this important service for NOAA for 25 years.

The following example illustrates just how much the fishermen and mariners revered Peggy. When NOAA began deploying moorings in the waters of Alaska, considerable vandalism was taking its toll on the surface buoys and equipment. The name “PEGGY” was lettered on the buoys, and amazingly all problems ceased. To the Alaskan fishermen, Peggy’s diligent work represented lives saved and money made.

In a retirement letter to Peggy, NOAA’s Rear Admiral John C. Albright, now retired, wrote:

“Shoreside, you “Minded the Helm” in the finest of maritime traditions. All of us who have worked in the storm ravaged waters of the Gulf of Alaska owe our well-being and very lives to your steadfast and capable services. Our Guardian Angel will be sorely missed.”

Interesting find:

Recommendations for the dosing of stadis 450

  1. Stadis 450 is commonly injected into Jet A-1 at refineries. The advantages of this route are that refineries are often well equipped to inject additives and for some supply chains no further dosing is required. However,this is not necessarily best practice because transport modes from the refinery (such as multi-product vessels and pipelines) can cause significant and unpredictable loss of conductivity. It is also worth noting that there is no requirement for a defined conductivity level when handling jet fuel on multi-product ships or pipelines.
  1. Initial injection of Stadis 450 should be done as close as possible to the airport, preferably into storage directly upstream of a dedicated supply route to the airport. Injection at the airport itself is an
    option, but only where the installation has capacity to deal with problems such as over-dosing or unresponsive jet fuel. Also, the options for blending and problem mitigation are usually limited at airports. Consequently, injection of Stadis 450 at airports should be limited to fine-tuning conductivity levels where necessary to meet the specification limits.
  1. The optimum point for additive injection within a storage facility depends on the specific local circumstances and the following principles are provided for guidance.
    [B]] a) Given that Stadis 450 is a surfactant and can increase dirt and water pick-up, it is best to delay injection until after major amounts of dirt and water are removed. Injection during a receipt from a multi-producttanker or pipeline into storage only makes sense if there is a high level of confidence that the incoming product is consistently free from dirt and water. Unless this is the case, it is better to wait until after the product has been settled and drained before injection.[/B]
    Suitable injection schemes would be inline dosing during transfer from receipt to delivery tanks or by tank recirculation.

  2. Experience shows that the worst place to inject Stadis 450 is on multi-product tankers.[B] Injection during loading will help disperse dirt and water from the vessels tanks with not much increase in conductivity. Even worse is the practice of manually adding the additive to ship’s compartments (eg using the sampling tube). The concentrated Stadis 450 does not mix well and can lead to major dirt and water problems,[/B] with limited conductivity improvement and/or non-homogeneous batches. Both are very inefficient methods for using the additive
    .

From: http://www.jigonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Bulletin-25-Jet-Fuel-Conductivity-June-2009.pdf-Public.pdf

para 101 of page 48 of the USCG Report lists Stadic 450 as having been added to the Aiviq’s fuel, but does not say where it was added or by whom or in what manner.

Researching and finding these aspects of the admitted additive to the Aiviq’s fuel system took me all of 15 minutes, but the Coast Guard couldn’t have done this in over a year?

[QUOTE=Steamer;135066]

It is obvious that ECO lacks a culture whereby the monkey wrench and hammer types from the bayou are not filtered out or at least made to work under close scrutiny. Apparently the same applies to the deck officers. This type of culture will not change from within, it has to be forced on them by someone with a very big and very pointy stick with the willingness to use it. I don’t think any such stick wielder exists in this country. The likely candidates all have too close a relationship with the people they are supposed to regulate. There are too many retired admirals in bed with the oil companies and ECO, and the State of Alaska is famous for its cozy relationships with corporate lobbyists and anyone who delivers Federal funding.[/QUOTE]

It going to have be be the outfit that pays the bills, in this case that’s Shell.

First thing Shell should do is take the computer away from the employee who cut, pasted and emailed the voyage plan and give him a janitor’s job or fire him. Shell needs a competent marine department and ECO needs a good SMS. Once the SMS is in place Shell needs to audit ECO to make sure it’s being followed. If the captains and C/E on the boats can’t or won’t follow it, fire them - some of them will figure it out.

There are plenty of top notch mariners working in the GOM, a lot of them probably are already working for ECO and are perfectly capable of working anywhere in the world.

Hold the phone, waterboys!

  1. On December 29, AIVIQ’s Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG) fuel injectors also began to fail. These SSDG injector failures were of a different nature than the main engine injector failures. The SSDG injector failures were a breakdown of the o-rings causing dilution of the lubrication oil. According to ship’s logs, “Small amounts of water and small amounts of slime” were found in the #2 Generator primary Racor Filters. Also according to the ship’s logs, on January 1, “small amounts of slime” were found in the secondary filters. 78 There is no indication that the problems caused a loss of a generator during this incident, though replacement of generator injectors was necessary to prevent such losses.

from para 108 of page 49 of the Report

Okay, fellows…since when does water in the fuel cause O-rings to break down?

If you slugged water to the mains and shredded those injectors, wouldn’t you have also shredded the injectors to the gennies in the same manner?

Hmmmm.

Why was the Coast Guard so diligent to spectroscope the mains injectors while basically ignoring the “emulsion” it found, again?

Could they be protecting some entity in Alaska?

(Because the “crowdsource” all just KNOW that corruption is only a feature of the Bayou, right?)

[QUOTE=txwooley;135051]No new info in this article from Workboat, but interesting read none the less.

Someone once said that no major incident is the result of a single event. It is always a series of cascading events that escalate a situation into an incident.[/QUOTE]

In my view, the whole incident narrowly escaped a much worse fate. I still do not think the crew aboard kulluk were in imminent danger by riding that rig ashore, she wasn’t sinking and certainly couldn’t have once aground. Had they waited 12 more hours, the helo ops would have reduced the risks taken ten fold. Unsuccessful evacuations have occurred during the peak of a storm, and crashes have resulted because of hastiness. In my opinion.