A Shell oil rig that ran aground on an Alaskan island last week during stormy weather finally reached safe harbor Monday. The rig, which was pulled from a towing ship last week and grounded on the shore of Sitkalidak Island, will be checked out to determine its seaworthiness.
No signs of breaches were found on the Kulluk’s fuel tanks. The drillship was a major part of Royal Dutch Shell’s controversial 2012 Arctic drilling program. According to Shell, the company was unsure whether the rig would remain in Kiliuda Bay for repairs or be moved elsewhere, or whether it would go on for planned winter maintenance near Seattle.
“At this stage, it’s too early to gauge any impact on our ongoing exploration plans, but with the Kulluk now safely recovered, we’ll carry out a detailed assessment of the vessel to understand what those impacts might be,” Marvin Odum, president of Shell’s U.S. operations, said in a statement.