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This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island  Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Shell rig left Alaska port to avoid taxes, company official testifies

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Shell’s Kulluk oil drilling rig left Dutch Harbor in December to avoid the prospect of millions in taxes, a Shell official revealed Saturday in testimony to a Coast Guard investigation panel.
(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Lawmaker: Did Shell move rig for financial reasons?

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A top Democratic lawmaker is questioning whether financial concerns drove Shell to send the Kulluk drilling rig on its ill-fated two-week trek across the predictably stormy Gulf of Alaska in late December.
Waves crash over the drilling unit Kulluk where it sat aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, Jan. 1, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class/Jonathan Klingenberg.)

Kulluk drilling rig accident stokes fresh fears on Arctic drilling

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The grounding of Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig amid a fierce storm in the Gulf of Alaska raised the specter of a fuel spill in the region and provided fresh fodder to drilling foes who insist Arctic oil exploration is too risky to allow. The episode also cast doubt on whether Shell Oil Co. will be able to resume its hunt for Arctic oil this year.