• The data gathering phase of the Kulluk assessment has been completed.
• There were a total of 12 divers and one ROV (remotely operated vehicle) used during the assessment process in Kiliuda Bay. The divers operated during daylight hours and functioned as data gatherers.
• No one was injured while performing the assessment.
• Multiple entities are involved in the review of data, including: the U.S. Coast Guard, Shell, Smit Salvage and Det Norske Veritas. These reports involve precise calculations; it is important to ensure the accuracy of any reports in order to develop the next steps for the Kulluk.
• At this time there is no firm date for completion of the damage assessment report.
• Once the damage report is completed, the Kulluk and any plans to move the vessel will be evaluated before it is moved to its next location.
As of yesterday, January 19th, Kulluks drilling companion, Noble Discoverer, is still tied up in Seward, Alaska, with her own set of problems.
Needless to say, Shell's Arctic competitors are probably digesting every bit of news concerning this debacle:
• Norway's Statoil, which had hoped to begin drilling in Alaskan Arctic waters in 2014, announced in the midst of Shell’s problems in September that it was delaying its plans indefinitely.
• France's Total recently renounced oil drilling in the Arctic, citing the environmental dangers.
• Conoco Phillips said it remains committed to begin drilling in 2014, and has begun filing plans with regulators.
Kulluk: Safe Haven