A U.S. Coast Guard flyover of the Shell-operated Conical Drill Unit Kulluk which grounded on the southeast shoreline of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska on December 31, 2012, indicated the vessel remains grounded but stable.
The flight crew’s aerial inspection found no signs of a fuel spill from the vessel.
The Kulluk has approximately 139,000 gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel on board. Equipment aboard the Kulluk is estimated to have about 12,000 gallons of combined lube oil and hydraulic fluid.
Two flyovers were conducted yesterday using a Kodiak-based Coast Guard C-130 and a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter, also based in Kodiak. The second flight via the Jayhawk helicopter included a salvage team to further assess the situation from the air.
The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and an additional support vessel are standing by to assist as needed. The Unified Command consisting of consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Noble Drilling Contractor and Shell is working on implementing contingency plans, including staging spill response equipment to the area.
Nearly 600 people are involved in the response.
January 2, 2012