Damning US Coastguard report on Shell Arctic rig grounding.

Guardian: “Shell has been accused by the US Coast Guard of ignoring safety warnings and moving one of its drill ships in the US Arctic, partly in a bid to avoid paying extra taxes.”
“The damning allegation is contained in an official 152-page report by the US Coast Guard into how the Anglo-Dutch oil group came to allow the Kulluk to run aground in December 2012.
Shell has recently been forced to shelve any plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea again this summer after a federal appeal court ruled the US authorities had failed to properly consider the potential risks.
….The US Coast Guard report said Shell’s plans “were not adequate for the winter towing operation across the Gulf of Alaska” while arguing that a potential tax penalty influenced the decision to set sail in stormy weather. The Kulluk was in danger of being subjected to new Alaskan taxes if it stayed in local waters beyond the end of December.
….A spokesperson for Shell, which spent $5bn on Alaskan exploration without any significant oil or gas find, said the company was still reviewing the report, which it accepted was based on a thorough investigation and would take any findings seriously.
….Meanwhile senator Ed Markey, a Democratic member of the Senate commerce and environment committees in Washington, said: “This report shows that Shell ran through every single safety and common sense red light in moving this rig because of financial considerations. This kind of behaviour should raise major red flags for any future Arctic drilling plans … Shell should be held accountable for its reckless behaviour”.”