Update: Shell drillships leave Harbor Island – Arctic-bound

FIRST REPORT, 8:51 AM: Thanks to Christine for the first tip (and to everyone else who’s alerted us since!) – the Shell-owned drillship Kulluk has left Harbor Island, where it’s undergone what’s reported to be $100 million work at Vigor Shipyards, being prepared for a controversial new round of Arctic oil exploration. It arrived at Vigor almost a year ago – while the much-photographed SBX was still there (it had to move out briefly for Kulluk to move into place, as we reported that day). Right now, it’s being accompanied by Aiviq, the icebreaker whose arrival we showed you on June 2, when Greenpeace Esperanza was here too, watching for the Shell rigs’ departure. The rig that arrived later, Noble Discoverer, is still moored at Vigor right now. As noted here Monday, those three ships and others are now under a federally granted protection order for a 500-yard “safety zone” while they are in transit. The U.S. Coast Guard is escorting this group as it heads slowly westbound in Elliott Bay.

9:47 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Karyn for that earlier view from downtown, with Colman Dock in the foreground and West Seattle in the background. The flotilla is heading northwest now, about two-thirds of the way through the bay, still visible from north-facing West Seattle shores but getting more distant.

9:54 AM UPDATE: The Noble Discoverer has left too and is quickly catching up to the rest of the flotilla.

It arrived at Vigor in early April (WSB coverage here).

18 Replies to "Update: Shell drillships leave Harbor Island - Arctic-bound"

  • Carlo Voli June 27, 2012 (10:00 am)

    This is really sad news for the Arctic, for humanity, and for all the wildlife in the Arctic region.
    Please join us tonight at 7PM at Pier 62/63, on the Seattle Waterfront, for an outdoors public group meditation to send positive and healing energy to the Arctic and to support the creation of an International Arctic Sanctuary. http://www.facebook.com/events/213054638817182/
    We should not be drilling for oil in the Arctic region. This is absolute madness! Time to transition to a less energy intensive society and develop cleaner forms of energy.

  • Rick June 27, 2012 (10:57 am)

    Yeah,sure. Utopia for all!

  • M June 27, 2012 (12:19 pm)

    For Humanity???

  • Danny June 27, 2012 (12:25 pm)

    Carlo … You don’t really believe that humans can mediate and transfer healing energy to an area, right? That’s just something people say, right?

    Honest question, I’m truly curious.

  • boy June 27, 2012 (12:35 pm)

    This is great news. It would be nice to start using more of our own resources then to continue to exploit other nations for there’s. Instead of watching countries like Dubai grow and prosper on our gas dollars they would stay home. Our troops would be able to come home. And Arab countries would be turned back into tent cities. No more money for terroisem. Drill baby drill.

  • Rick Harlan June 27, 2012 (12:38 pm)

    Utopia is maybe too strong a word for a world in which all can thrive. Some strong action is needed to wake up and to change not just individual consumption patterns but to put a stop to money ruling all fateful decisions, like energy extraction and production thru tar sands or with Arctic drilling, a vicious circle that will warm the planet and melt even more ice on water and glaciers. Stopping stupid decisions that make it harder for future survival no less thrival, may or may not be possible, but we have to try.

    Come to tonight’s memorable event–meditations at Pier 62— or do your own from home.

    Watch this Melting Arctic Video

  • middle ground June 27, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    Good luck and God speed to the men and women aboard those vessels – May they do their job safely and successfully and leave no lasting imprint on the Arctic. It is my hope that their efforts will lead to a decreased dependance on foreign assets, while their presence furthers our efforts to improve our reliance on more efficient forms of energy.

  • Rick Harlan June 27, 2012 (12:49 pm)

    To Danny: Can we change things by meditating, like move things thru telekinesis? Probably not. I know that a couple things that do change, tho. One is me. The other is the people I do it with, supporting each other not only in the moment/s but with the determination to go on. And the last way is you never know how good energy can effect those who hear it’s going out and around, like thru you, and even to decision-makers in the EPA and at SHELL.

    “If we live thru this time, we’ll have a story to tell;
    We saved life on earth, tho we went through Sh-Hell.

    They say we need oil; don’t forget about love.
    Cooperation’s what we need more of.

    Don’t ever let nobody bring you down.
    We’re walking on to freedom, don’t let nobody turn you round.”

  • dbsea June 27, 2012 (1:22 pm)

    Well said, Middle Ground. May Shell do a better job than BP in actually having effective safeguards in place, planning for possible failures and not caring only about the $. We’ll be better off with more domestic and less foreign energy. Too bad we (the greatest country on earth) are still on oil as a primary source after all these years. Sheesh

  • Uncommon Sense June 27, 2012 (1:37 pm)

    The ignorance shown by suggesting that whole nations of people are terrorists who deserve to live in poverty (Comment by boy — 12:35 pm June 27, 2012) is certainly of the same mindset that thinks that fossil fuel dependency is remotely sustainable or even justifiable.

  • Velo_nut June 27, 2012 (1:38 pm)

    Good… Driving my Land Rover is getting EXPENSIVE!

  • Megan June 27, 2012 (4:00 pm)

    I am by no means an environmentalist but this just makes me sad.

  • cr June 27, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    Ditto with my boat Velo

  • Denis Martynowych June 27, 2012 (4:13 pm)

    To Danny – For me meditation is taking time for deep reflection. That can lead to new insights about how to make effective changes in my life. It also helps me to connect with others to make the changes that are needed to solve huge challenges like global warming. We need to get more creative and more connected with each other and meditation is a great skill to assist in that process. I hope you come tonight.

  • JayDee June 27, 2012 (7:21 pm)

    Like junkies we both want and need oil. At least we have environmental regulation and enforcement to do the least harm. Unlike the Niger Delta, Russia, Ecuador, Peru…plus we will benefit for a few years from the oil and the jobs. I am with middleground.

  • pilsner June 27, 2012 (8:06 pm)

    There are much worse atrocities in the world. Im not worried about this, because it is all unstoppable. Seriously tho, good luck to all oil stocks, hopefully my CVX can benefit from this!

  • PupPup June 28, 2012 (7:24 am)

    For those who think we are not already drilling for oil in the Arctic, I have two words: Prudhoe Bay. Drilling there has been going on for decades. Why do we arrogantly think all the risks of energy production must be borne by others? I’ll bet the “no drilling anywhere” crowd lives in a climate controlled residence, drives a car, and flies on airplanes. What about the impact on the climate from transporting oil from the Middle East, and the risk of accidents en route? I’ll bet the people opposed to drilling in the Arctic support sustainable practices like buying food grown locally, to reduce the impact on the climate from transporting food…but producing our own energy closer to home is different? Without energy the world economy will collapse and people will starve. Shell has spent billions making this operation safe and made unprecedented concessions (like stopping drilling when marine mammals are present). They and their shareholders have taken massive financial risk to deliver the energy we need for a price we can afford. Hats off to the people who make our lives so comfortable and our standard of living what it is!

  • Ex-Westwood Resident June 28, 2012 (8:44 am)

    For those who oppose the exploration and drilling for oil, I have a few questions…
    Do you buy your food, clothing, personal items…etc, from a store or do you grow/make your own?
    Do you drive/take the bus to get around, or do you walk/bike everywhere, including the store?
    Do you use electricity/natural gas for your home to heat/cook?
    While I believe in the research for alternate energy sources, I also believe we need to use that are available and obtainable.
    Oh and FYI – How many of you realize that from the first bolt/weld to the “end-of-life” of a HUM-V and a Prius, the Prius has a Carbon Footprint 5 time LARGER than that of the HUM-V. Largely in part due to manufacture/disposal of the batteries. That also goes for any electric cars the uses batteries

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