Report: Poor management led to Shell grounding

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Associated Press

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 4 at 3:01 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Coast Guard report says poor risk assessment and management were factors that led to the grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012.

The report released Thursday also says Alaska's tax laws influenced the decision to tow the Kulluk to Seattle. Royal Dutch Shell PLC believed the drill vessel would have qualified as taxable property on Jan. 1, 2013, if it was still in Alaska waters.

The Kulluk broke away from its tow vessel in late December 2012. Multiple attempts to maintain tow lines failed, and the vessel grounded off Sitkalidak Island.

Damage to the Kulluk played a role in Shell's decision to forego Arctic offshore drilling in 2013.

The Coast Guard report says sufficient evidence exists for other authorities to consider penalties.

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