Kulluk, Noble Discoverer headed to Asia dry docks, leaving Shell's 2013 Alaska drilling plans in doubt

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — Shell is sending two damaged ships to Asia for dry-dock repairs, a decision that calls into question whether the company will be able to drill in the Alaska Arctic this year, Alaska Public Radio Network reported. The company said Noble Discoverer needs an engine overhaul, and Kulluk needs substantial repairs to its electrical system and hull after the conical drill unit ran aground near Kodiak. A Shell spokesman said a heavy lift ship will dry-tow Kulluk from Alaska to Asia.

Click here to view the radio network's story.

By Professional Mariner Staff