Shell Drilling Rig Runs Aground, Marks More Trouble For Arctic Oil Operations

A Shell Oil offshore drilling rig ran aground in southern Alaska Monday, marking another in a long series of setbacks for the company's Arctic drilling development.

The Kulluk rig was on its way to maintenance in Puget Sound, Wash. when a severe storm hit and caused it to separate from a tow line.

As of Wednesday morning, there are no reports of spillage. The rig currently carries over 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and other oil products.

Arctic Update: Oil Companies Call Off Northern Drilling


Both Shell and Total SA have announced a pause in drilling for crude oil in the Arctic. 

Christophe de Margerie, chief executive officer of Total SA, recently commented that the threat of a spill was too risky for the image of their company. 

"Oil on Greenland would be a disaster. A leak would do too much damage to the image of the company," he told the Financial Times.