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Rig Grounding Revives Debate Over Shell’s Arctic Drilling

Jan 3, 2013
(Bloomberg Businessweek)

This week’s grounding of a rig off the coast of Alaska adds to a series of mishaps in Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s seven-year quest to tap the vast oil reserves of the Arctic and emboldened critics who say it can’t be done safely.

The drill ship Kulluk broke free of a tow boat in a storm Dec. 31 and remained upright though stranded last night on the coast of Sitkalidak Island, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of the town of Kodiak. The crew was evacuated and there were no signs the vessel was leaking diesel or drilling chemicals it carried, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.