Now afloat, Shell’s oil vessel that ran aground in Alaska on new year’s eve is being towed caravan style to a nearby island for inspection. Seattle’s tug Aiviq and seven other ships are towing the Kulluk 40 miles away to Kiliuda Bay, The Guardian reports, where the extent of damage will be assessed. Environmentalists warn that this latest failure is a harbinger of things to come should the oil giant persist with its plans to drill in the Arctic despite challenging physical and meteorological conditions and a sensitive ecosystem.
It will be very difficult for Shell to convince the American public that it can pursue any kind of arctic oil drilling program safely after the latest incident on Sitkalidak Island, where the 28,000 ton vessel carrying roughly 143,000 gallons of diesel lost its towing lines in heavy winds.
“It’s one accident after another. The longer this goes on the greater the erosion of Shell’s credibility,” said Greenpeace campaigner Ben Ayliffe. Already the company has been caught discharging illegal fluids and an engine in a vessel similar to the Kulluk, the Noble Discoverer, caught fire, according to The Guardian. The oil rig is traveling at a speed of 3.5km per hour and readers can track its slow progress through MarineTraffic.com.
Via The Guardian