Shell oil rig filled with fuel runs aground in Alaska — Worst development yet in crisis — “So it just happened, it’s dark, no one has seen it”

Published: January 1st, 2013 at 12:38 pm ET


Follow-up to: NYTimes: Breakaway Oil Rig, Filled With Fuel, Runs Aground

Title: Shell drilling rig grounds off Kodiak Island after towlines fail again
Source: Alaska Daily News
Date Updated: Jan 1, 2013 at 12:25p ET
h/t Anonymous tips

Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig […] grounded off Sitkalidak Island, at the northern end of Ocean Bay, officials said. […]

The grounding was the worst development yet in a crisis that began Thursday night […]

The Kulluk was carrying about 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid. […]


  • “So it just happened. It’s dark. No one has seen it” –Susan Childs, Shell’s incident commander
  • “We are now entering into the salvage and possible spill response phase of this event” –Alan Wien of the state Department of Environmental Conservation
  • “We’ve got a pattern of failures. I’m saying no, there’s no way that I can see any feasibility of drilling in the Arctic, especially with the extreme conditions that we’re seeing, not only with Mother Nature right now but also just the technical aspects of the failures that we’re seeing with the fleet.” –Carl Wassilie, a Yup’ik Eskimo who coordinates a grass-roots group called Alaska’s Big Village Network
Published: January 1st, 2013 at 12:38 pm ET


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27 comments to Shell oil rig filled with fuel runs aground in Alaska — Worst development yet in crisis — “So it just happened, it’s dark, no one has seen it”

  • PurpleRain PurpleRain



      unless you're transmitting from another world, PurpleRain, you should be honest in your objections and admit that we're all complicit in these violations of nature…

      • PurpleRain PurpleRain

        Does it really make you feel better or feel like a big man to pick on me!

        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          I know I'm complicit as I drive a car, used that latest technology, etc. thus if I were a true energy conservative I would refrain from the modern world and get back to nature.

          • norbu norbu

            Time to give up all modern crap that is destroying the Earth. It will not be easy, but we must un-wind all the bullsh$##


      Let's see if I have this correct? Shell fails the first time, and thinks it's a good idea to try again, then loses all four engines, (unheard of), the crew abandons ship, and due to it's massive weight and mass, no ships can stay tied up to it until it finally runs aground, whereby all of the ecologically fragile eco-system is about to be unnundated with 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and hydraulics fluids, if they can't do something PDQ.

      I think the madness of greedy oil companies and their DRIG's has finally met it's match in Nature's fury. Unfortunately, it normally ends with a lot of death, as always. Hope this time is different and the whales and other species not having to deal with the consequences…

  • VyseLegendaire VyseLegendaire

    The attempts to drill the arctic will fail over and over again, it's been rough for the Russians as well…I don't think our future lies in plundering those arctic ice sheets, quite obviously.

  • Anthony Anthony

    You HAVE to check out this cartoon – REALLY!
    Man? – Or a Predator Race Amongst Us..
    Sunday, December 30, 2012 8:33

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Got to get ourselves back to the garden.

  • Plonkers.
    So that's a Nuclear sub, Costa Concordia & a freakin oil rig all grounded at Full Moon this last year. Me thinx they should consult an Almanac or Tide Times website… "….ok ja, definitely Officer material…"

  • The point is that as long as the majority is disorganized the organized minority of oil, nuclear and what have you will get there way. Look for a big fight here in BC as they try to push a crude oil pipeline to the West Coast.

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Here is a video of the drill ship that ran aground in Alaska today

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    More info on the drill rig incident

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    So, the first appropriate action is to boycott Shell Oil. The next is to write Shell and let them know why we are boycotting their company – one too many whoops. Shell has demonstrated an inability to drill in the difficult Arctic environment with adequate technical competence, emergency planning, or necessary interagency communication. The third is to tell your friends.

    Shell Oil Complaints online link –

    And, if you really want to start rocking, write the Alaskan Department of Environmental Conservation with your concern that Shell is allowed to continue making mistake after mistake in the Arctic and still allowed to drill there.

    Alaskan Environmental Crimes Unit – they accept complaints regarding both intentional environmental degradation or negligence and behavior that unintentionally results in a negative environmental impact.

    I suggest putting on your favorite groovy music to let your words flow, help you remain firm but civil and respectful, and help make your taking action feel good instead of tense.

    Happy writing!

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Oooorrrr, instead of writing or calling or agitating in some creative fashion to save your planet, i suppose you can give up before you even begin, which works really well for those who wish to remain unaccountable, agree with them that you are powerless to make a difference so just whine to your friends and blogmates, buy their product, make Shell happy, and poison your world a little more while they work out all that safe environment clean energy sustainability stuff they've been promising since the mid 70's. It's really your choice.

      • natano natano

        Ooorr if you are a republican, you can start crafting your apology letter to shell like they did to BP when Obama came down real hard on them and said he was disspointed with their handling of their spill – which by the way is still leaking from 50 different cracks all over the sea bed caused by fracking. What a slap on the wrist. I'm surprised they ever recovered from their huge fine that amounted to about a weeks worth of revenue. Poor fossil jocks, they might even get a mean look from the bomber this time, but pry not. He doesn't have to worry about re-election so no, there might not be any of that for this one.

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Btw, you may file a complaint completely anonymously, with Shell Oil. After a couple of tries at submitting my post, i found that you have to also rate the office in a little link as well as type in the given set of letters to reduce spam.

    • PurpleRain PurpleRain

      Thank you Vic.

  • gottagetoffthegrid

    "Spill response" in 35 ft seas? What does that look like?

    With all hope it's Bunker C fuel oil. According to NorthAtlantic Refiners it melts at 25*C. If the tank heaters are down the whole bunch might jell.

  • I remember in the mid-90's there was an Oil Tanker floundering off north Wales spilling it's cargo everywhere. I thought that igniting the damn thing might have avoided catastrophe, but I guess it's not good PR to be seen torching spills to get rid of them.


    This issue transcends all geographical (and constituency) boundaries.
    In September 2011, The Independent published an article under the headline: “Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause ‘uncontrollable’ natural disaster. One of the world’s leading polar scientists has warned: “If there is serious oil spill under ice in the Arctic it will be very hard, if not impossible to stop it becoming an environmental catastrophe…”

    What should be given the greatest weight in deciding if Shell can be trusted to drill in the Arctic Ocean – Shell’s promises about being able to react quickly and effectively to any incident/disaster arising from its pioneer Arctic drilling commencing in July, or its horrendous track record of environmental pollution on an epic scale and deceiving host governments?

    Shell won the rights to drilling rights in the USA after spending millions of dollars lobbying the Federal government……