No spill seen from Shell's Alaska incident

JUNEAU, Alaska, July 16 (UPI) -- There were no reports of oil pollution off the Alaskan coast when a drill ship deployed by Shell slipped its mooring, a U.S. Coast Guard official said.

Authorities with Shell said its Noble Discoverer drill ship slipped its anchor and drifted about 300 feet toward the Alaskan coast.


Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Francis was quoted by CNN as saying there was no evidence of hull damage or signs the drill ship struck ground.

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

Shell said the drill ship was towed back to its original position. The company, along with the Coast Guard, said detailed inspections are planned through the week.

Shell last month said its Kulluk and Noble Discoverer drill ships left Seattle for Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to wait for sea ice to clear.

Shell aims to launch a drilling campaign in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the Alaskan coast after having its oil-spill response plan approved by federal regulators. The company estimates that there may be as much as 25 billion barrels of oil in the region.


U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told an arctic exploration forum in Norway last month that Shell's work off the Alaska coast will be conducted "under the closest oversight and most rigorous safety standards ever implemented."

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