Sunday, January 6, 2013

ADN's Richard Mauer Pegs It - Shell Arctic 2013 is as Good as Toast

A mirage
Richard Mauer interviewed people Sunday about aspects of what the grounding and damage to the Shell Alaska drill rig Kulluk on the rocks of the south shore of Sitkalidak Island might mean to Shell's 2013 drilling plans.

The bulk of the article is interviews with salvage experts and others on aspects of what might have to happen to the rig to prep it for possible salvage - fuel and equipment removal, ballasting and purging, and so on.

But the core of the article is that a reputed salvage expert with local knowledge, Dan Magone of Magone Marine Service in Dutch Harbor, is fully backing retired University of Alaska Prof. Rick Steiner's contention that this avoidable accident has sunk Shell's 2013 Alaska drilling season, unless something unforeseen yet unlikely occurs.

Here's Magone's bottom line, based on a best-case scenario for removal of the wreck:
I don't see how they could get it fixed fast enough to get it on their program for this coming year, which is a huge blow to their plans," he said.  
Unless I'm really surprised and find out that, 'Oh, no, everything's intact, nothing got wet, we just lost some materials over the side' -- that may be the case, but I doubt it. I'll bet it's pretty darn serious, and if it is, it's gonna be a terrific amount of work.
Anyone from Shell who is asking people to risk their lives to save the 2013 drilling season needs to be locked up.

Anyway, best mainstream article yet on the salvage operation's necessities.  You're certainly not going to get information this usable from anyone in the 600-person and growing "Unified Command."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want to see Lisa,Mark,Don,Sean out there on big old step ladders pushing from the shore side. Shoulder to metal as they save Alaska. Thank you Mr Phil. AKjah