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Shell Oil ship slips mooring, drifts

July 16, 2012 at 8:26 AM

ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, Alaska, July 16 (UPI) -- A ship Shell Oil plans to use to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic slipped its mooring, drifting close to one of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, officials said.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Francis said there was "no damage to the hull [of the Noble Discoverer] or evidence it ran aground."

"There are no reports of injuries, pollution and damage to the Noble Discoverer," she said.

The Noble Discoverer is one of about two dozen ships Shell plans to send to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas to drill exploration wells.

Saturday's accident has heightened concerns of critics of the project who worry an oil spill could pollute the waters and damage the economy, CNN reported Monday.

Greenpeace issued a statement Sunday questioning the the safety of the complicated drilling plan if Shell is having problems with a ship's mooring, CNN reported.

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