Alaska oil rig remains adrift

12:04 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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(KTUU) The Shell Oil-contracted rig Kulluk hasn't yet leaked any oil, but containment booms were delivered to a nearby village Thursday as Shell said the conical drilling unit has sustained damage since it ran aground Monday night near Kodiak.

Steven Russel, the state's on-scene coordinator with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, said at an Anchorage press conference called by the incident's Unified Command that no environmental impact from the grounding of the Kulluk -- estimated to contain 143,000 gallons of low-sulfur diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of other petroleum products -- has yet been detected by continuing overflights. The state's response efforts, however, are "ongoing" to protect sensitive habitats in the region.

A cargo plane carrying thousands of feet of orange containment boom which landed at Old Harbor, the nearest community to the site of the Kulluk's grounding on the south side of Sitkalidak Island, was met Thursday by a group of locals, including Old Harbor Mayor Rick Berns. The boom was offloaded onto trucks and driven to the local harbor, from which it will be moved to the Kulluk's grounding site as a precaution.

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