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Gulf of Alaska

(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard blames 2012 Arctic rig grounding on bad decisions

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Coast Guard investigators on Thursday rapped Shell Oil Co. and its contractors for failing to heed the dangers of towing a drilling rig across stormy Alaska waters in late 2012 — a voyage that ended when it ran aground on New Year’s Eve.
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.
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.
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.)

Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig runs aground near Alaskan island

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Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig ran aground Monday night near Alaska’s Kodiak Island after a five-day fight to tow the vessel through a fierce storm and 70-mph winds.
Tugboats Aiviq and Nanuq, seen from a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules, tow the Kulluk drilling unit 116 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, on Sunday. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Usher.)

Drilling rig set to weather fierce storm in small Alaska port

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Facing 63-mph winds and 28-foot seas on Monday, two tugboats were towing Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig to safe harbor to weather the fierce storm in the Gulf of Alaska.