Shell rigs Kulluk, Noble Discoverer no longer Seattle-bound

February 12, 2013 at 9:32 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Kulluk tow to Kiliuda Bay

(January 7 U.S. Coast Guard photo of Kulluk)
The Shell drill rigs Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, which spent months at Vigor Shipyards on Harbor Island in 2011-2012 before their troubled time in Alaska, will not be brought back here after all. So reports The Seattle Times (WSB sponsor), quoting Shell as saying they’ll be taken to Asia instead. It’s been a month since Kulluk was towed from the Kodiak Island shore where it had run aground and taken to a nearby “safe harbor” for evaluation; Noble Discoverer had a variety of mechanical problems and is currently in Seward, but soon to be Korea-bound.

12 Comments

  1. This is being done to avoid the media circus that would happen if they came back to Seattle. While we all use oil, and the jobs at Vigor are valuable, I think this really does highlight the perils of drilling in remote, harsh environments such as this. They couldn’t sort things out in the temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico when that accident happened a year ago, think how inept a response will be in the Arctic.

    Comment by JWT — 9:51 am February 12, 2013 #

  2. JWT has it right, loss of valuable jobs, high wage high skilled positions at Vigor, their subcontractors, and all the places in West Seattle the workers spend their wages. And we’ll still use oil, so after the Korean company fixes it it will be back in the Artic drilling for oil

    Comment by M — 11:12 am February 12, 2013 #

  3. Sure M, what’s wrong with permanent damage to the Arctic as long as West Seattle can make a few extra bucks?

    Comment by Dave — 11:55 am February 12, 2013 #

  4. The Links for “towed from Kodiak Island” and “soon to be Korean-bound” are broken. Perhaps not on your end, but their site is broken.

    Comment by Phillip — 1:19 pm February 12, 2013 #

  5. If a container ship had run into trouble in the Gulf would we want to ban Nike shoes?

    Comment by Mark — 2:19 pm February 12, 2013 #

  6. REALLY? IT COULDN’T BE THAT THEY DON’T WANT TO PAY AMERICAN WAGES?????? THEY SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED BACK IN AMERICAN WATERS UNTIL THE RIG IS INSPECTED IN AN AMERICAN YARD. THEY STEAL THE OIL FROM AMERICAN SHORES TO SELL IN CHINA, SO THE OIL COMPANY CAN MAKE MORE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PROFIT… AND FOR WHAT? SO THEY CAN GET 2.00 DOLLAR PER HOUR WELDERS. IN KOREA?

    Comment by Robert — 3:11 pm February 12, 2013 #

  7. Beautiful photo.

    Comment by G — 5:35 pm February 12, 2013 #

  8. At the end of the day, it is going to Asia because there isn’t a commercial drydock or graving dock on the U.S. West coast that can handle the Kulluk’s breadth (280′). Regulatory bodies like ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) have offices all around the world. Their representatives can certainly inspect the adequacy of repairs made in Asia as they do in American shipyards

    Comment by P — 6:34 pm February 12, 2013 #

  9. Nothing but uninformed comments. I would hope that the readers of this blog would be intelligent enough to educate themselves before posting opinions.

    Comment by C — 8:48 pm February 12, 2013 #

  10. They drilled and drilled safely, the only thing that went wrong was a tow line problem. They did something that hasn’t been done in years. Just be use something is difficult and hard doesn’t mean it should be criticized, and if you don’t know the drilling process, than you have no reason to harp on those who do it everyday.

    Comment by Melissa — 5:23 am February 13, 2013 #

  11. comment by C

    What particular insight do you have on the subject?

    Comment by bob — 5:52 am February 13, 2013 #

  12. At least if they take it to a non union port, the repairs will be done in a timely manner. Work at the vigor yard last time was painfully slow.

    Comment by d — 11:01 pm February 17, 2013 #

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