A Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A, RDS.B) oil-drilling ship has been evacuated and run aground in harsh weather while trying to sail from Alaska to Seattle.
The Kulluk drilling rig is stuck on the coast of Sitkalidak Island, about 60 miles from Kodiak, Alaska. While the U.S. Coast Guard and Shell have been unable to get people back on board the stranded ship due to storm conditions, aerial observations indicate that it isn’t leaking oil, Bloomberg noted.
After its tugboat cut the tow lines due to strong winds and high swells, the Kulluk ran aground on Monday evening. It holds about 139,000 gallows of diesel and 12,000 gallons of other oil and fluids. Continued strong winds and dangerous sea conditions were impeding efforts to rescue the vessel.
The accident led to immediate calls from environmentalists to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic Sea. Shell released a statement saying that the accident hadn’t occurred during drilling operations.
Shell has spent $4.5 billion to begin drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, but has encountered significant delays. It plans to continue its drilling attempts this year after the winter ice recedes.
Shares of Royal Dutch Shell were mostly flat in Wednesday midday trading.