Shell’s Kulluk drill rig is almost ready to leave Alaska waters.
The heavy lift vessel that will take the damaged oil rig to Asia for repairs arrived in Unalaska on Sunday afternoon. The Xiang Rui Kou was escorted to its anchorage in Captains Bay by three tugs.
The Kulluk has been in Unalaska for about two weeks, waiting for the 700-foot heavy lift ship to sail in from China. Marine pilot Carter Whalen says it will take about seven hours to load the Kulluk onto the Xiang Rui Kou this Tuesday. The lift vessel will fill its ballast tanks and sink below the Kulluk, and tugboats will pull the Kulluk into position on the deck of the Xiang Rui Kou.
After that, Whalen says work crews will spend a few days securing the Kulluk. The vessels are expected to leave Unalaska toward the end of the week.
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says the company doesn’t have any comment on the operation at this time.
- The PFD veto of $666 million covered a little more than a fifth of the budget gap.
- The CEO of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority stepped down on Monday. Jeff Jessee served as CEO for 21 years. According to a press release from the organization, he is transitioning to a new role ahead of his planned retirement in three years.
- The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is the state’s anti-discrimination agency. In 2011, a legislative audit found that the agency wasn’t doing its job. Five years later, the agency is still trying to move forward.