Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Latest Kulluk Update


There was a new Update today.  It's been almost two weeks since the last one.  Here it is:
DATE: January 30, 2013 9:20:00 AM AKST
For more information contact:
Unified Command Joint Information Center at (907) 433-3417
Update #44: Kulluk remains stable – engineering analysis continues
Jan. 30, 2013
Unified Command continues to oversee preparations for the next steps in the Kulluk response. Multiple entities remain involved including: the U.S. Coast Guard, Shell, the State of Alaska, Smit Salvage and Det Norske Veritas.
  • Unified Command’s priority continues to be the safety of all personnel and the environment.
  • Tow equipment has been secured and is currently in Kodiak.
  • The Kulluk’s openings on the main deck (i.e., windows and hatches) have been secured and in some cases temporary steel structures have been added to close the openings to make the vessel water- and weather-tight for potential tow operations.  A few remain open to allow for ongoing operations.
  • Close coordination with the communities of Kodiak and Old Harbor is ongoing.
  • Old Harbor Native Corporation, in collaboration with Unified Command, continues to develop plans to access the shoreline and surrounding area to clean up life boat debris.
  • The UC has received confirmation from naval architects that the damage sustained by the grounding poses no threat to the stability or integrity of the Kulluk while anchored in Kiliuda Bay. The next step is an analysis of this data to determine the best course of action to relocate the Kulluk for permanent repairs. The UC will not speculate on this next step until the DNV and USCG give their recommendations for safely relocating the Kulluk.    

Does this debunk Phil's post from yesterday?  I don't know.  What questions does it raise?

  •  The Kulluk’s openings on the main deck (i.e., windows and hatches) have been secured and in some cases temporary steel structures have been added to close the openings to make the vessel water- and weather-tight for potential tow operations.  A few remain open to allow for ongoing operations.
I guess this means that the  "openings on the main deck (i.e. windows and hatches)" were damaged enough that they couldn't just fix them.  They had to add 'temporary steel structures.'   Assuming that their use of 'i.e.' is correct, then windows and hatches are the only openings that have been secured this way.  (See Grammar Monster for difference between i.e. and e.g.)
  • Tow equipment has been secured and is currently in Kodiak.
Is this in addition to all the tow equipment that was already on hand and that got the Kulluk from its original grounding spot to Kiliuda Bay?  
  • Close coordination with the communities of Kodiak and Old Harbor is ongoing.
  • Old Harbor Native Corporation, in collaboration with Unified Command, continues to develop plans to access the shoreline and surrounding area to clean up life boat debris.
Basically this is a "we're doing good things" statement without giving any details.  What have they given Kodiak and Old Harbor in exchange for their cooperation?  We know that the Executive Director of Old Harbor Native Corporation, Carl Marrs, wrote a glowing op ed piece for Shell.  But we don't know what Shell promised in exchange.  I understand that Shell might react to this with frustration.  "We're doing everything that we should be doing and the bloggers still complain."  But since we have no idea what it is you are specifically  doing, we can only speculate.  And if our speculation is on the negative end, it's only because we assume that if you had good things to say, you'd tell us.

You do say that you are collaborating with Old Harbor Native Corporation on clean up plans.  What exactly does 'collaborating' mean?  How many jobs for how many dollars per hour will the Corporation members get?  For how long?  What else have you given or promised to give them?  I realize that you don't plan to tell us.  And so we are left to raise questions and to speculate until we get more specific answers.  If everything you were doing were praiseworthy, you'd tell us.  Like the recent story about your helping the Food Bank on Kodiak.

  • The UC has received confirmation from naval architects that the damage sustained by the grounding poses no threat to the stability or integrity of the Kulluk while anchored in Kiliuda Bay. The next step is an analysis of this data to determine the best course of action to relocate the Kulluk for permanent repairs. The UC will not speculate on this next step until the DNV* and USCG give their recommendations for safely relocating the Kulluk.   
So long as the Kulluk sits anchored in Kiliuda Bay, it will be ok.  What about when it gets moved out of the Bay?

I understand that you are doing analysis, but according to UPDATE #43, you were finished with the data collection at least by January 18, twelve days ago.  I would have assumed that the data analysis would have started then.  Surely, by now you must know what your likely options are.  What are you trying to protect by not sharing what's going on?  Shell stock prices?  Letting your competition know?  (Surely they talk to the salvagers and know what's happening.)  Preventing those with interests and concerns from mobilizing with the information?

Am I being unduly harsh on Shell here?  Look, I'm one little blogger asking questions of one of the largest multi-national corporations in the world.  And Shell isn't being responsive at all, using the Unified Command and the Coast Guard to refuse to answer very reasonable questions about their operations in Alaska.  I know that they did horrendous things in Nigeria in the 1990's.  There's enough evidence that they've gotten some standing - however temporary - in a US Court.   I don't know  what they've learned from that situation.  But my suspicion is that they will do whatever they can get away with - less where laws and the justice system are stricter, more where they are not.  And even where they are good, Shell's enormous wealth can buy them the best lawyers available.  So, no, I don't think I'm being harsh.



*DNV = I gave a little background of Det Norse Veritas here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.

Post a Comment