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 Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”