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Shell Prepares to Tow Grounded Alaskan Oil Rig

Shell’s Arctic-class drillship, The Kulluk, grounded on the southeast shoreline of Sitkalidak Island, AK, at approximately 9 pm local time on Dec. 31, 2012, while under tow in heavy seas from Alaska to the U.S. port of Seattle, Washington State. There has been no loss of life and no significant injuries as a result of this incident.

Ongoing aerial and onboard inspections by recovery and response teams assessing the Kulluk drillship through the weekend confirm the vessel remains firmly aground and stable with no sign of environmental impact and no leakage of the diesel fuel or hydraulic fluid stored onboard the vessel.

Naval architects on the survey team confirm the Kulluk is structurally sound and fit for towing to safe harbor in nearby Kiliuda Bay. The exact timing for potential towing activity is dependent on weather, tides and operational readiness. Once the team managing the incident confirms it is safe and ready to move forward, the recovery operation will begin.

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