PHOTOS: Shell fumbles with ancient and hazardous rig in the Arctic

by Cassady Sharp

January 3, 2013

The Shell conical drilling unit Kulluk sits aground on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island about 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, in 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas January 1, 2013. The Kulluk grounded following many efforts by tug and Coast Guard crews to tow the vessel to a safe harbor when it was beset by winter storm weather during a tow from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to Everett, Wash.

© US Coast Guard / Greenpeace

In another example of why drilling for oil in the Arctic is such a monumentally bad idea, Shells drilling rig, the Kulluk, has run aground off the island of Sitkalidak, near Kodiak in Alaska. The ancient rig was being towed back to harbor after a spectacularly unsuccessful summer drilling season when it ran into serious trouble and hit the shore. Last Thursday the Kulluk was being towed from the Arctic by Shells brand new $200 million tug the Aiviq when it hit heavy weather that caused the 400 foot towing line to break and the rig to drift free. Shell is clearly not Arctic Ready. Tell President Obama to suspend Shell's Arctic drilling permits before it's too late.

We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Standard text messaging rates will apply

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.