Tuesday, January 1, 2013

No evidence of spilled fuel from grounded Alaska oil rig - latimes.com

No evidence of spilled fuel from grounded Alaska oil rig - latimes.com: "An offshore drilling rig remained beached on a remote island in southern Alaska Tuesday, but authorities said there was as yet no evidence that it had leaked any of the more than 150,000 gallons of fuel and other petroleum products on board into the pristine waters nearby.

“Right now … the Kulluk [rig] is sound. There is no sign of a breach of the hull; there is no sign of release of any product,” U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Paul Mehler, the federal on-scene commander for what is becoming a major response effort, said at a news conference.

The 266-foot, conical rig, which recently completed an inaugural season drilling the beginnings of an exploratory well for Shell in the Beaufort Sea, was rocking slowly in the turbulent surf off Sitkalidak Island, near a remote area known as Ocean Bay, just off southern Kodiak Island.

Officials with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said environmental response teams were moving in from as far as Homer and Seward to monitor any potential threats to the water or wildlife."

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