Kulluk's ride

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[FONT=Palatino]Heavy Lift Ship Arrives to Retrieve Kulluk
By [COLOR=#AA5F22]Lauren Rosenthal
Sunday, March 17 2013

Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB
Shell’s Kulluk drill rig is almost ready to leave Alaska waters.
The heavy lift vessel that will take the damaged oil rig to Asia for repairs arrived in Unalaska on Sunday afternoon. The Xiang Rui Kou was escorted to its anchorage in Captains Bay by three tugs.
The Kulluk has been in Unalaska for about two weeks, waiting for the 700-foot heavy lift ship to sail in from China. Marine pilot Carter Whalen says it will take about seven hours to load the Kulluk onto the Xiang Rui Kou this Tuesday. The lift vessel will fill its ballast tanks and sink below the Kulluk, and tugboats will pull the Kulluk into position on the deck of the Xiang Rui Kou.
After that, Whalen says work crews will spend a few days securing the Kulluk. The vessels are expected to leave Unalaska toward the end of the week.
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says the company doesn’t have any comment on the operation at this time.


Hopefully the loading goes as well as the Noble Discoverer’s.

Where are all the pictures of KULLUK in Captain’s Bay?


Kulluk’s heavy lift transport arrives in Unalaska
Shell’s drill rig Kulluk is headed to a shipyard in Asia to repair damage sustained in the vessel’s grounding last New Year’s eve. The circular vessel will be transported to Asia by a Chinese heavy lift ship which arrived in Unalaska Sunday, March 17. The
Xiang Rui Kou functions like a dry dock by submerging until the load can be floated aboard. Shell has not released information about the location of the shipyard where the work will be done. The Noble Discoverer, under contract to Shell, left Seward for Asia last week. Both drill rigs need extensive repair before they can return to the drilling grounds in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

Just saw a pic, looks like she on the ship getting ready for lift off.

From ADN


Lift ship loads up Kulluk in Dutch Harbor, headed for Singapore
Ben Anderson
March 19, 2013
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The conical drill rig Kulluk was loaded onto the Chinese heavy-lift vessel Xiang Rui Kou in Captain’s Bay, Unalaska on March 19, 2013. Jim Paulin photo

On March 9, the Royal Dutch Shell drillship Noble Discoverer left Seward, bound for Korea on the back of the 708-foot heavy lift ship Xiang Yun Kou. Now, Shell’s other drill rig, the ill-fated Kulluk, is getting ready for a Pacific crossing of its own. On Tuesday, the conical rig was loaded onto the deck of the Xiang Yun Kou’s sister vessel, the Chinese-flagged Xiang Rui Kou, in the waters near Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands.

Shell Oil’s Kulluk drill rig cleared to leave Kodiak for Dutch Harbor
Massive lift ship arrives in Seward to haul troubled Noble Discoverer drilling vessel

The Kulluk, 266 feet in diameter, arrived in Dutch Harbor on March 5 to await its haul to an Asian shipyard for repairs after running aground south of Kodiak Island on New Year’s Eve. Curtis Smith, Shell Alaska spokesman, said that the Kulluk would be bound for a shipyard in Singapore where it will undergo assessment and repair.

“The (Xiang Rui Kou) has moved underneath the Kulluk and crews are beginning to secure the rig to the cribbing (deck),” Smith said in an email. He added that the exact departure date and timeline for repairs has yet to be determined.

The Xiang Rui Kou is what’s dubbed a “semi-submersible” vessel. When it comes time to load a vessel onto its long deck, the ship sinks partway into the water, allowing the vessel being towed to be positioned over the deck before refloating. By Tuesday afternoon, the Kulluk was resting atop the Xiang Rui Kou. The whole process takes several hours for both the sinking and refloating.

The Kulluk became grounded after its towing vessels lost their tether to the rig in high seas in the Gulf of Alaska in late December. After days of attempting to re-establish a connection and numerous vessels being called out to assist, the Kulluk ran aground just hours before the new year.

The grounding of the Kulluk was a big blow to Shell’s dreams of reaching into Arctic Alaska oil, and along with numerous problems with the Noble Discoverer – the company’s other primary drilling rig operating in the region – was largely responsible for the company’s decision to suspend drilling for the 2013 season. Shell has expressed hope that it will be able to return in 2014 to finish what it started – namely, completing exploratory wells to the level of hydrocarbons in hopes of tapping into some of the estimated 25 billion barrels of oil thought to lie underneath the Arctic seabed.


The Coast Guard authorized the Kulluk to be towed to Dutch Harbor in February, more than a month after its initial grounding, after determining the tow posed no environmental or safety threats.


As for the Noble Discoverer, that vessel is well on its way to its eventual destination in Korea – Smith said Tuesday that the Xiang Yun Kou had moved out of the Bering Sea and that the “transport is going well.”


Contact Ben Anderson at ben(at)alaskadispatch.com

Thanks Leonardo for the photos!


Given what KULLUK went through pounding in the surf in storm force winds and sea, she barely has a scratch. She certainly is hell for stout.

Has anyone seen the Kulluk in Singapore? Any news as to the status of repairs or how extensive the repairs have been?

[QUOTE=LandBoundBE;112026]Has anyone seen the Kulluk in Singapore? Any news as to the status of repairs or how extensive the repairs have been?[/QUOTE]

seems its docked at Pioneer Yard at Keppel Fels. One of the gCaptain people was there this spring if I recall well from an earlier article on the site, he surely must’ve spotted how things were going.

[QUOTE=LandBoundBE;112026]Has anyone seen the Kulluk in Singapore? Any news as to the status of repairs or how extensive the repairs have been?[/QUOTE]

here’s an image posted on the forum yesterday: http://gcaptain.com/forum/professional-mariner-forum/12724-shell-alaska-2.html#post119183