Coast Guard lifts restrictions on Shell vessel

AP News
Posted: Feb 21, 2013 3:04 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Coast Guard has lifted its order restricting movement of a drilling vessel from a Kodiak Island bay in Alaska.

Capt. Paul Mehler (MAY'-ler) III says in an announcement that Royal Dutch Shell PLC is free to move the Kulluk after meeting requirements he placed on the vessel.

The Kulluk drilled in the Beaufort (BOH'-fort) Sea last year and was being towed to Seattle when it broke loose from its towing vessel.

The round drilling barge ran aground New Year's Eve.

It was refloated and towed to the protected bay, but Mehler ordered it to remain anchored until its condition was assessed.

Shell wants to tow the Kulluk to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and place it aboard a larger vessel for a "dry tow" to an Asian shipyard.