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Vol. 18, No. 12 Week of March 24, 2013
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Kulluk being picked up from Dutch Harbor

The heavy-lift vessel Xiang Rui Kou is in Dutch Harbor, preparing to pick up the Kulluk, Shell’s Arctic floating drilling platform, and carry the Kulluk to Asia for repair, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith confirmed in a March 19 email to Petroleum News.

“Over the next few days the Kulluk will be prepped for loading and transport aboard the Xiang Rui Kou to a shipyard in Singapore,” Smith said. “Once there, a scope of work will be assigned as well as a timeline associated with that work.”

The drillship Noble Discoverer that Shell is using in the Alaska Arctic is also being carried to Asia by a heavy-lift vessel for repair.

Smith also confirmed that Shell is in the process of testing its Arctic containment dome in Puget Sound, near Seattle. Shell has had modifications made to the dome since a failed test in September. The dome is intended to capture oil from an out-of-control well, in the unlikely event of a well blowout accompanied by a blowout preventer failure during an offshore Arctic drilling operation.

“We have been putting the Arctic containment system through its paces for a number of weeks now,” Smith said. “Final sign-off will have to come from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement at a date to be determined.”

Shell will not require the containment dome until the company resumes its Arctic drilling — the company has already suspended drilling operations for 2013.

—Alan Bailey



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