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Oil spill ‘possible’ after Shell drilling rig runs aground near Alaska

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, January 1, 2013 10:22 EDT
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Oil rigs in the sunset. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
 
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An oil drilling rig owned by Shell ran aground in the southeastern Gulf of Alaska on New Year’s Eve amid a storm that had forced the crew to evacuate, the U.S. Coast Guard told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The ship, the Kulluk, was built in the 1980s and carries about 150,000 gallons of fuel and another 12,000 gallons of oil and hydraulic fluid. It reportedly ran aground around 9 p.m. on Monday night after a tugboat cut its ties to the vessel for safety reasons.

Although the company claims the ship is “as Arctic ready as it’s possible to be,” Coast Guard officials said Tuesday that a spill is “possible” and that response teams are standing by. A crew of 17 men was evacuated from the Kulluk on Saturday amid efforts to tow the ship to shore.

The video below was published to YouTube by the U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday, December 29, 2012.


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Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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