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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

More on Kulluk from A-team

Keep checking comments here for Kulluk photos, specs, news:

Shell is $4.5 billion into this already and not a drop of petroleum product to date. This is a multi billion dollar accident. And they're farther away then ever from sale of that first drop.
Here's the pre-refurbished Kulluk flaring out some heavy diesel smoke onto the Beaufort ice (no oil was ever produced). Shell is touting the 'ultra-low sulfur' bunker fuel on board now (a response to Native air pollution complaints) but sulfur content is irrelevant to marine water pollution or wildlife oiling. If there's a spill, get ready for the Coast Guard to roll over on use of dispersants despite the cold and currents. Sitkalatig Island is not BLM, FS or NPS land-- it is entirely owned by the Native Land Corp based in Old Harbor. Looks pristine in the oblique photo.
Looks to me like some video frames have the derrick about vertical whereas the worst I saw, after a huge wave hit, was a 9-10º tilt landward. However it is hard to get the horizon accurately because of the fog line. On the one hand, the 3" steel hull and eggshell design (for ice crushing) have to help; on the other, wobbling on rock was never in the engineering game plan.

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