Nine turbulent months after leaving Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards, the Shell drilling rigs Kulluk and Noble Discoverer have both been loaded onto giant Chinese ships to be taken to Asian shipyards. They both were set to head back here late last year when trouble struck in a variety of ways, including the Kulluk running aground on an Alaskan island. The video above, from Earthjustice, shows Kulluk being loaded onto the Xiang Rui Kou at Dutch Harbor, Alaska (still there as of this writing, per MarineTraffic.com). Shell is quoted as saying it’ll be heading to Singapore. Kulluk was here more than a year before departing last June; the Noble Discoverer, which spent less time here (though they left the same day), was loaded aboard an identical Chinese “dry tow” ship, the Xiang Yun Kou, earlier this month, headed for Korea (here are photos and backstory on its previous trouble). Alaskan news organizations quote Shell as saying it won’t try again to drill in the Arctic before next year.
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