Sunday, May 10, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Noble Discoverer Retreating?

Inexplicably, at around 5 p.m. PDT (1:00 GMT), Royal Dutch Shell's leased drill ship Noble Discoverer did a complete 180° course change southwest of Cape Flattery.

I've been tracking the vessel, hoping to get shots of her passing Point Wilson or from Marrowstone Island, as she progressed toward Everett.

She had been making ~7k (~8 mph) on 055° completing her voyage from Singapore to Everett Washington sometime Sunday the 10th.

But now, some 6 hours later, she is firmly on reciprocal 235°, as reported by MarineTraffic AIS.

It will take some digging around to find out the reason for the turn-about, but I am speculating that the reason she is being diverted to an undisclosed location, is the tension between the Mayor, City Council of Seattle,  and fever pitch resistance by environmental groups with the Port of Seattle Commissioners over the proposed alleged misuse of Terminal 5 (T-5) on Elliott Bay.

Foss Maritime intends to park the Noble Discoverer, semi-submersible Polar Pioneer, along with AHST Aiviq and other support vessels, outfitting them at T-5 for the summer drilling season in the Chukchi Sea.

Last week, the Mayor announced that he will demand a new environmental impact plan be submitted by Foss for terminal ship repair and servicing facilities. T-5 has a use permit for a container facility, going back to the days of SeaLand and subsequent occupants.

The Terminal has been empty for some time.  The Port Commission, three of five members accepting campaign funds from Saltchuk, parent company for a number of marine entities - including Foss Maritime, approved a lease with Foss for the Shell Arctic Drilling Expeditionary Force.

Type "Noble Discover" into my Google Search engine to read the many articles written about the debacle in the winter of 2012 with that vessel, along with the Aiviq and Kulluk.

The Polar Pioneer remains in Port Angeles. She was supposed to be towed to T5 in the near future. It is not clear what this evenings event will have on that schedule. The Esplanade is where I shot the "flower pot" views.

1 Comments - Click here: said...

Robert, nowhere else in public media have I seen any mention of this rig movement! Thank you so much for your great, detailed research.

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