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Report: Poor management led to Shell grounding

Posted: April 4, 2014 - 12:07am

ANCHORAGE — A Coast Guard report says poor risk assessment and management were factors that led to the grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012.

The report released Thursday also says Alaska’s tax laws influenced the decision to tow the Kulluk to Seattle. Royal Dutch Shell PLC believed the drill vessel would have qualified as taxable property on Jan. 1, 2013, if it was still in Alaska waters.

The Kulluk broke away from its tow vessel in late December 2012 and ran aground four days later on Sitkalidak Island, near Kodiak.

Damage to the Kulluk played a role in Shell’s decision to forego Arctic offshore drilling in 2013.

The Coast Guard report says sufficient evidence exists for other authorities to consider penalties.

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Bill Burk
Bill Burk 04/04/14 - 09:47 am

So what else is new? Everyone knows that Shell screwed up!

Judy Hodel
Judy Hodel 04/04/14 - 01:54 pm
Nothing "accidental" about this.

Nothing "accidental" about this. Inexperienced, overworked bridge officers, incredibly harsh arctic weather, a 1700 mile tow of a round vessel in worsening weather, continued despite repeated warnings?

Maritime people in Dutch Harbor strongly advised the Shell people that towing at that time of year was not a good idea. The advice was ignored.

What could possibly go wrong!?!?

Incredibly lucky there was no loss of life. An incredibly stupid decision amounting to negligence by some Shell bigwig in Houston who has never experienced harsh Arctic weather - all to save paying some taxes and score some points toward his next bloated bonus.

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