A giant offshore drilling rig, the Kulluk ,operated by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, has run aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska about 250 miles south of Anchorage on New Year’s Eve
The rig is holding more than 150,000 gallons of diesel, oil and hydraulic fluid, and was being towed by two ships in rough seas to a Seattle shipyard for off-season maintenance when it got disconnected from its towlines
Greenpeace campaigner Ben Ayliffe said " The grounding of Shell's Arctic rig, which contains tens of thousands of gallons of fuel oil, is yet another example of how utterly incapable this company is of operating safely in one of the planet's most remote and extreme environments.
"Shell has lurched from one Arctic disaster to the next, displaying staggering ineptitude every step of the way. Were the pristine environment of the frozen north not at risk of an oil spill it would be almost comical. Instead it’s tragic. We're moving closer to a major catastrophe in the Arctic and the US government appears unwilling to provide either the needed oversight or emergency backup the company's incompetence requires."
Ayliffe added: "Rather than opening up the high north to oil firms we need to keep this fragile place off-limits to reckless industrialisation. Greenpeace and the millions of people who have joined us to save the Arctic will be keeping a very close eye on developments in Kodiak."