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Troubled Oil Rig in Alaska Reaches Safer Waters

Jan 8, 2013
(New York Times)

A week after it ran aground along a rocky shoreline in the Gulf of Alaska, a Shell Oil drilling rig was refloated and towed to safer water for inspection, officials said Monday.

Sean Churchfield, operations manager for Shell Alaska and a member of the response team that includes representatives from Shell, the Coast Guard and Alaska’s environmental agency, said the rig was refloated late Sunday night and arrived in Kiliuda Bay, a sheltered area on Kodiak Island about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage, on Monday morning.

The calmer waters will enable the rig, the Kulluk, to be inspected above and below the waterline. The next step depends on the extent of the damage; one possibility is that the rig would be towed to Seattle for repairs.