ANCHORAGE, Alaska Feb 11 Royal Dutch Shell
Plc's two offshore rigs in Alaska will head to Asia for
repairs and upgrades, the Anglo-Dutch oil company said, casting
doubts on its plan to do any drilling in Arctic seas this year.
Shell said in a statement late on Monday that no decision
had been made yet about the 2013 Alaska offshore drilling
The Kulluk, its drillship that ran aground near Kodiak
Island on Dec. 31 after escaping its tow lines, will head to a
shipyard in Asia, said Curtis Smith, Shell's spokesman in
"We haven't determined yet where in Asia," he said. The
company had decided it could get better services in Asia than at
the Seattle-area shipyard where the Kulluk had been headed when
it began its ill-fated crossing of the Gulf of Alaska, he said.
"A number of shipyards in Asia have the drydock facilities
and capacities to better execute these types of projects," he
The Kulluk, anchored since Jan. 8 in Kiliuda Bay off the
eastern side of Kodiak Island, sustained flooding damage,
including damage to its generators, according to early
The other offshore rig Shell used for its Alaska program,
the Noble Discoverer, will also head to Asia for repairs, Shell
That drillship, contracted from Noble Corp, has been
docked for several weeks in Seward, Alaska, where inspections by
the U.S. Coast Guard discovered deficiencies in its
environmental and safety systems.