FOLLOWUP: Shell’s Polar Pioneer floated off heavy-lift ship, but not West Seattle-bound yet

At left in that image from a few minutes ago is the heavy-lift ship Blue Marlin, anchored in Port Angeles, notably no longer carrying the eventually-West-Seattle-bound drill rig Polar Pioneer, which it carried across the Pacific for Shell. Nine days after arriving in PA, the two were separated early this morning. We had been watching the slow-going operation for hours via a Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce webcam – here’s the view from just before dusk Saturday:

(We requested and were granted the PA Chamber’s permission to publish those images.) Right now, the drilling platform is no longer in view, as it is being towed to a closer-in Port Angeles anchorage, according to the Peninsula Daily News, which reports it will undergo about a week more of work, before it’s to be towed to Seattle. Also in Port Angeles is the first Shell vessel that had arrived at T-5, the icecutter Aiviq, which has been in PA since Friday and is currently shown on as one of several vessels surrounding the Polar Pioneer as it moves through the PA’s harbor (others include at least four tugs owned by Foss, which will host the PP as part of its T-5 lease).

Shell’s second T-5-bound drill vessel, the Noble Discoverer, is still crossing the Pacific – it spent some time off Honolulu last Thursday, according to its track on Shell told the PDN that the drillship – which was last here in 2012 – will be proceeding directly to Seattle rather than stopping in PA as did the Polar Pioneer.

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Shell's Polar Pioneer floated off heavy-lift ship, but not West Seattle-bound yet"

  • Eric1 April 26, 2015 (11:49 am)

    Even if you don’t like Shell. The Blue Marlin is one impressive ship. The ability to submerge enough to get that drill rig on deck and lift if out of the water is mighty impressive. Strangely enough, the Blue Marlin moved the last big ugly floating scrap that was in Seattle. The ill-conceived Navy sea-based x-radar was also transported once upon a time by the Blue Marlin.

  • WSeattlite April 26, 2015 (12:53 pm)

    Great to see that Foss has so many tugs involved. Having Foss so closely involved certainly adds professionalism and oversight to the operation.

  • Vince April 26, 2015 (2:29 pm)

    President Obama appointed Sally Jewell Secretary of the Interior in 2013. Several weeks ago she approved the disputed federal lease by Shell Oil for drilling in the arctic.

    Here is what President Obama said on nominating Sally Jewell (UW grad):

    “She is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She is committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand.”

    Strange how the opponents of Shell Oil don’t seem to mention that their lease has been given the Obama Administration seal of approval.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 26, 2015 (4:11 pm)

    That is so cool! I can’t to see that in Elliott Bay.

  • R0b0 April 26, 2015 (7:22 pm)

    The Blue Marlin also transported the U.S.S.Cole after it was attacked in Yemen. I’ll never forget that image.

  • ChefJoe April 26, 2015 (9:06 pm)

    Eric1, if you’ll recall, the X-band radar dome SBX-1 was built via “upcycling” a semi-submersible drilling rig.
    Truly impressive machine. I think I’ll have to build a replica as a halloween costume this year!

  • AlkiCruz April 26, 2015 (9:13 pm)

    Harbor must must be weed free, since the protester had nothing better too do today…

  • JEANNINE April 27, 2015 (7:01 am)

    Shell has no ability or plan to clean up any type of spill in the Arctic. This is greed. And racism. Wiping out indigenous people in other parts of the world’s environments and way of life is just what Shell does. Drilling in the Arctic is the end of the pristine Pacific Northwest. It’s drilling for oil that we don’t need, there won’t be a lot of jobs, that’s a lie, just a few will get rich but in the meantime the Arctic polluted. It’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when. There are many people and professionals from all over the world arriving here to protest this in the month’s ahead. Don’t believe the lies you hear from Shell. I don’t agree with Obama on this one. Look at Shell’s record in Nigeria, and other places in the world.

  • JEANNINE April 27, 2015 (7:02 am)

  • RoyW April 27, 2015 (9:17 am)

    JEANNINE, Actually Shell has a plan to prevent pollution and a plan to contain and clean any spillage that could occur, based on “worst case release.” That is one of the required elements of the approval granted by the Obama administration. By approving, the administration agrees Shell has the required ability.

  • Rick April 27, 2015 (10:16 am)

    Please excuse me whilst I create my own “facts” to support my own opinions.

  • JC April 27, 2015 (10:41 am)

    Thanks for that link R0b0, pretty impressive! And folks, they are only docking the ships here, not drilling oil here……..sheez……I believe they are only using the Terminal space to do maintenance before it goes back out to sea.

  • mike April 27, 2015 (12:00 pm)

    “Actually Shell has a plan to prevent pollution and a plan to contain and clean any spillage that could occur…” HILARIOUS!!!!

  • Felix April 27, 2015 (5:21 pm)

    BP also had a plan to contain a spill..except they didn’t. So yeah, let’s trust RDS to be environmentally responsible… That sounds like a great plan.

  • G April 27, 2015 (7:57 pm)

    The 25 oil rigs along the California beaches from Huntington Beach to Santa Barbara form incredible reefs and habitat for fish, shellfish, and other sea life. Oil rigs aren’t all bad.

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