Oceana Reaction to Shell’s Rig Grounding and Problem Plagued Arctic Drilling | Oceana

Oceana Reaction to Shell’s Rig Grounding and Problem Plagued Arctic Drilling

Press Release Date: January 1, 2013

Location: Juneau, AK


Anna Baxter | email: abaxter@oceana.org
Anna Baxter

In reaction to Shell’s latest disaster in its quest to exploit a public resource, Susan Murray, Deputy Vice President, Pacific released the following statement:

“The rescue crews showed amazing courage and perseverance.  On this holiday, our thoughts are with the families of the personnel that were and are in harm’s way.  We still hope that an environmental catastrophe can be avoided.

As we have been shown again and again, Alaska’s seas are unforgiving.  To avoid accidents, careful preparation and planning are clearly needed.  Shell has not been able to conduct any phase of its operations without substantial problems.  From construction of its response barge to complying with air and water protections to transit, Shell’s season has been plagued with problems and missteps, which culminated in this disaster.

We are fortunate that this latest incident happened close to the Coast Guard station in Kodiak.  If this had happened in the Arctic Ocean, Shell could have been on its own, 1,000 miles from the help it needed.

Shell stands to profit from drilling in the Arctic Ocean, and yet we all bear the risks.  We hope that this accident will not become a major environmental disaster.  The area in which the Kulluk grounded is critical habitat for endangered Steller sea lions and threatened sea otters; and there are important fisheries in the area that help provide livelihoods for Alaskans and support our economy.  

Substantial public resources have been—and will be—expended as a result of Shell’s choices.  The American public deserves to know how those choices were made.  This grounding should serve as the tipping point to show our government that we are not ready to drill in the Arctic Ocean.”