Shell's vessels, MV Aiviq, (left) and drill rig Kulluk (center) leave Seattle, Washington this morning, June 28, 2012. The Aiviq, an ice class anchor handler built by Shell to work in Alaska, will tow the Kulluk to its final destination in AK.
Shell's vessels, MV Aiviq, (left), drill rig Kulluk (center) and rig Noble Discoverer (right), leave Seattle, Washington this morning, June 28, 2012. The Aiviq, an ice class anchor handler built by Shell to work in Alaska, will tow the Kulluk to its final destination in AK.
Ships bringing oil drilling equipment to Alaska pass through Seattle's Elliott Bay on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, as a Washington State Ferry passes on its way into Seattle. The Kulluk and Noble Discoverer and support ships are headed first to Dutch Harbor. Once open water allows, the rigs will move to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas for offshore drilling.
The Kulluk is nearly ready for Arctic oil exploration off Alaska's north coast. The orange life rafts carried on the rig are sealed to protect against fire and oil. Each unit carries up to 60 people and can motor away from the rig to safety. Shell now is waiting for one final federal permit and favorable ice conditions to set up in the Beaufort and Chukchi with drilling equipment, support vessels and aircraft.
The Kulluk is one of two drill ships Shell plans to use in Alaska during its 2012 drilling campaign. The Kulluk is owned outright by Shell and it was designed with a unique conical shape to allow the rig work in ice conditions. The Kulluk is undergoing modifications to its air emissions systems and will be joined by other Shell vessels in Seattle before sailing for Alaska this summer. The Kulluk is next to the X-Band radar that was once scheduled to be stationed at Adak. Seattle is in the background. Feb. 2012