Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Xiang Yun Kou (Updates)

Noble Discoverer successfully loaded aboard Chinese Overseas Shipping Company's (COSCO) Xiang Yun Kou at Resurrection Bay, Seward Alaska.

Shell has employed local welding students from AVTEC to secure the Discoverer to the heavy lift vessel.

Seattle's Western Towboat Alaska Titan, which I've had the pleasure of riding on, and Artic Titan alongside, assisted the load-out.

Photographs by Ron Hemstock were taken on Monday March 4th appearing in the Seward Daily News.

Monday, March 3, 2013

"Let the welding begin!"

The troubled Noble Discoverer is being secured to the deck of the heavy lift vessel Xiang Yun Kou. Ms. Carol Griswold took a dramatic series of photos, which tell the story better than I.  Select "previous/next" to cycle through her photographs.

Sounding like a Gothic horror story, US Coast Guard inspection of the Noble Discoverer at Seward revealed poor maneuvering capability, and an abnormal propeller shaft vibration deemed dangerous for working in Alaska's intemperate seas and weather conditions.

Other deficiencies included inoperable equipment used to measure the oil in water that is dumped overboard, improper line splices throughout the engine room, piston cooling water contaminated with sludge .

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Snapshot in time, 2:45 pm PDST (2145 UTC), Saturday March 2nd, Noble Discoverer has been placed onboard COSCO's Xiang Yun Kou.   Accompanied by Western Towboat (Seattle) Arctic Titan, Alaska Titan, and Crowleys Vigilant.  (Source Marine Traffic.)

According to a press release by Royal Dutch Shell, "Noble Drilling, in consultation with Shell, has made the decision to dry tow the Noble Discoverer from Seward, Alaska to a shipyard in Korea."

Vigor Industrial & Marine in Seattle did all the upgrades on her last year. So why Korea?

Meanwhile, the Kulluk is enroute to Dutch Harbor, where she will be loaded for a "dry tow" to Asia. She is scheduled to arrive at Captains Bay on March 8th.

Friday, March 1, 2013

COSCO Shipping's Xiang Yun Kou has arrived from Singapore at Resurrection Bay in Seward Alaska on Thursday February 28th, to load up Royal Dutch Shell's disabled drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer.

Like the KullukNoble Discoverer will be transported to Asia for repairs.

Great Ocean Serviços Maritimos had been given the honor to act as agents of the Semisubmersible M/V "XIANG YUN KOU" in the bay of Angra dos Reis in November of 2012. Allow us to share this experience with you with the virtual tour provided herewith.

With the third element of Shell's humiliating Arctic drilling misadventure, the Arctic Challenger,  hove to in Bellingham Washington, Shell will not be intruding into the Artic this year.

The containment barge, Arctic Challenger suffered a crushed containment dome during testing last fall.

According to Mark Fesmire, the head of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Alaska office, on board the Arctic Challenger:

"Watching the underwater video feed from the remote-control submarine when, a little after midnight, the video screen suddenly fills with bubbles. The 20-foot-tall containment dome then shoots to the surface. The massive white dome “breached like a whale.”

Arctic Challenger
· Length: 310.1 ft
· Width: 104.4 ft
· Draft: 19.3 ft
· Accommodations: 72
· Owner/Operator: Crowley

Yet another interesting "dry tow."

Finally, the cost of extracting oil from the frozen North...

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