ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Three tugboats began moving the Shell drilling rig Kulluk from Kiliuda Bay near Kodiak towards Dutch Harbor Tuesday afternoon en route to Asia after its New Year’s Eve grounding.
The tug operation began at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday and will take 10 days to reach Dutch Harbor, according to Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith.
Once in Dutch Harbor, the Kulluk will be placed in a special dock for “dry-tow” transit, which means it will be prepped for loading and transport via heavy lift vessel to a shipyard in Asia.
On Feb. 21, the U.S. Coast Guard lifted an order restricting the movements of the Kulluk, more than a week after the Unified Command stepped down from monitoring the incident.
The tugboats are the Ocean Wave, Corbin Foss, Lauren Foss.
The Corbin Foss and the Ocean Wave collided earlier this month in Kiliuda Bay with the Ocean Wave sustaining minor damage and no injuries were reported.
The Kulluk will be further analyzed and assigned a “scope of work” once in dry dock. Shell said the “timeline associated with that scope of work will dictate the Kulluk's future role in Shell's ongoing exploration program offshore Alaska.”
Contact Neil Torquiano