ALASKA - A Shell drilling rig adrift in the Gulf of Alaska during the weekend is finally under control.
Shell’s Kulluk drilling platform was stranded by a storm this weekend after a tow bringing it to port in Seattle failed late last week.
New tow lines were launched Sunday, but dangerous seas and hurricane-force winds severed those lines. Early this morning, lines were re-established to the Kulluk by the tug Alert.
Those lines have now held for over 15 hours.
Shell says the next move is still up in the air.
“A lot of our next decisions will be based on weather,” said Curtis Smith with Shell’s External Affairs. “We have some more extreme weather moving in to the region, we're about 20 miles off shore of Kodiak, so we're evaluating if we want to put more tow lines, redundant tow lines on the Kulluk, and possibly ferrying north to find safe harbor.”
This afternoon, Shell said it could tow the Kulluk to Port Hobron on the southeast side of Kodiak Island to seek shelter from the storm.
Weather in the gulf tonight is expected to have winds over 60 miles per hour... with seas at nearly 30 feet.