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Compensation Received for Shell Oil Rig Grounding in Alaska

On December 27, 2012, Shell’s Arctic drilling unit Kulluk parted from its tow and grounded on Alaska’s Sitkalidak Island on New Year’s Eve. The rig had 138,000 gallons of diesel and other fuels and lubricants on board.

A drilling rig floating near an island.
Shell’s Arctic drilling unit Kulluk in December 2012. (NOAA)

NOAA was a key member of a large emergency response that was stood up to respond to the incident, now in the national media spotlight. Although no oil spilled, the substantial threat of a spill led NOAA and State and Federal co-trustees to request initiate funding from the U.S. Coast Guard for Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) planning, including evaluating the potential impacts of spilled diesel on the local environment, and planning for ephemeral data collection. After reviewing the trustee’s final report and determining that these activities were reasonable, appropriate and consistent with the Oil Pollution Act, the U.S. Coast Guard agreed to reimburse NOAA, along with other trustees, for these NRDA costs.

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:49pm PST

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