Category: Companies / January 4, 2013 11:45 AM EST
The Royal Dutch Shell drill ship that was tossed by high winds and grounded off an Alaska island on New Years Eve has suffered some damage from waves and flooding, but so far has not spilled any of the 155,000 gallons of fuel and other petroleum products aboard, officials managing the emergency response said Thursday (January 3).
Salvage experts were flown to the stricken Kulluk on Wednesday and Thursday, officials said.
The salvage crews found wave damage to the topside of the vessel and several breached hatches that caused water damage inside, Shell officials said. Generators had also been damaged.
The 30-year-old Kulluk is operated by Noble Corp and was refitted by Shell for its summer 2012 drilling expedition in the Beaufort Sea off northern Alaska.
The Kulluk was on its way south for the winter. It had been towed east from Beaufort, and then south through the Bering Strait that separates the northernmost U.S. state from Siberia.