Skip to comments.US Army joins battle to save stricken Shell rig
Posted on 01/06/2013 12:15:19 AM PST by bruinbirdman
The US Army has been called in to help with the battle to salvage Royal Dutch Shells stricken Kulluk Arctic drilling rig, which has now been beached in environmentally delicate waters for nearly a week.
The Kulluk, one of two rigs crucial to Shells controversial Arctic oil exploration plans, ran aground on New Years Eve as it was hit by a fierce storm while being towed to Seattle for maintenance.
Two Chinook helicopters from the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade flew to the scene on Friday to help transport heavy equipment for the salvage operations.
Three vessels are on site and a further 12 en route, according to the Unified Command managing the incident yesterday.
The Kulluk continues to remain stable and upright and there is no evidence of sheen in the vicinity, it said, indicating that the 143,000 gallons of diesel and 12,000 gallons of other oil products on board had not leaked.
But seawater has now been discovered in one of the voids between the double hulls of the vessel, indicating that the outer hull made of steel up to 1.5in thick could have been damaged. A 3-6ft buffer void between the hulls is designed to protect the inner hull, which is made of 0.4in thick steel.
Earlier visits showed that watertight hatches on the top segment of the rig had been breached and both the service and emergency generators had failed.
Shell has received a permit from Alaskas Department of Natural Resources to remove the Kulluk from where it is grounded. However, spokesmen for Shell and for Unified Command were unable to say when they expected the rig to be moved.
The full scale of the damage may not
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Why is Shell getting their hands on my tax dollars? I trust they will compensate the US Army for their troubles yes?
well, presumably that unit’s wartime duties would include moving heavy equipment form one place to another. I guess you could consider it good training.
I would question how you get compensation on this deal to the Army. They don’t have a pay-as-you-go operation or dollars-per-hour deal. They are the only ones around in Alaska who have heavy-lift choppers. So it is a logical choice to ask for their help. If you’d waited a week for commercial choppers to arrive...it’d been a bigger mess.
The Army will probably use this as a “real-world” training exercise.
Thye are also helping to keep the environment from being polluted. Good experience.
So Shell gets it gratis? Must be nice. Hey I’ve got a tree stump that needs removing - can I ask the Army Corps of Engineers to lend me an Abrams tank?
Remember all the pictures of Navy and Coast Guard helicopters plucking people off roofs the morning after Katrina?
That was gratis, too.
Should the military bill the recipients of their lifesaving efforts?
This is much ado about nothing. NO oil breach, less than 3500 blls of fuel on board and they are required to get a permit to move the platform from out of harm’s way???? That’s a nutty regulation. Why the Army and not the Coast Guard if any govt is involved?
Who’s life is in danger in this case? Other than providing Shell a service they were too shortsighted to prepare for on their own - the taxpayer is getting scammed.
Er, Shell is a taxpayer.
A very large taxpayer...
Article was about Chinooks (CH-47) working the issue and they show a picture of a Jay-Hawk (H-60) helicopter.
I hate when they do that.
A year from now, a small article in a trade journal will announce the Fines and Penalties Shell has agreed to pay for this incident.
For the Gulf Spill last year (Deep Water Horizon, Mocondo well):
Transocean - owner of the drilling platfrom agreed to pay $1.4 Billion
BP - Agreed to pay $4 Billion in Fines, plus clean-up costs, plus research coss.
So when my business goes under due to my own stupidity I can get a bailout from big daddy government? Oh wait...
No, but if you wrecked your car, the county might have it towed, then send you the bill. Same idea.
Shell will pay for this I’m sure. It’s just a matter fixing the problem now, and sorting out the bill later.
“Shell will pay for this Im sure.”
Evidence for that conclusion please.
Sometimes its cheaper just to pay the taxes.
Shell has done the cba and found it is cheaper to pay the Gov't for their use of heavy lift aircraft and support than investing into a standby safety infrastructure that they would have to use.
Just like in the Gulf with BP, they didn't have a safety infrastructure available and had to use Gov't and outside help.
Both companies have determined that the Gov't will bail them out if a emergency happens.
Bingo. These companies have more in common with welfare cheats than Adam Smith.
It is common and expected that the military will offer its assistance in the case of emergencies caused by an "act of God".
You object to, for example, the National Guard playing a role in a flood emergency which threatens only commercial and residential sites?
Note: this policy does not include your "business going under due to your own stupidity".
To citizens, yes. To a private company that screws up big time and needs to utilize military equipment to save their own skin? Hell no! You don’t see the difference?? Tell you what - Shell pays top dollar for the use of TAXPAYER resources and we’ll call it even.
It’s for the environment, KB. The U.S. Army is helping to save the Earth...
Heavy lift is heavy lift, so yes, there is a training benefit for the crews involved. However, it costs the Army aound 4k/flying hour for these airframes. Who is paying the freight in a DoD sequestration environment?
Since when is that the Army’s job? Last time I checked, the oath soldier’s swear upon entering the service says nothing about protecting Smoky the Bear, Shell’s bottom line, the UN or Dubya’s idiot fantasies.