Shell’s Icebreaker to Be Repaired in Portland
Finnish icebreaker chartered to Royal Dutch Shell, MSV Fennica, will transit to Portland for repairs before returning to Alaskan waters for her operational duties, the vessel’s owner Arctia Shipping informed.
The vessel was supposed to head for the Arctic on July 3rd, loaded with a capping stack that would be used to seal a well in case of a blowout, in support of Shell’s Arctic drilling plans that have been faced with fierce opposition from environmental groups. However, a leak was detected in MSV Fennica’s ballast tank shortly after the vessel departed from the Dutch Harbor, Alaska forcing the crew to go back.
An inspection determined that the breach in the hull was 39 inches long and 2 inches wide rendering the ship unfit to resume the journey.
“The vessel is required on the operational area only late in the August so the drydocking in Portland has been chosen for repairs,” the ship’s owner said.
Shell’s drilling plans, slated to start in the third week of July, are expected to be delayed.
An uncharted shoal has been discovered by hydrographic surveyors in the area where Fennica was holed forcing the vessel to return to dock in Dutch Harbor.
The discovery was reported by the U.S. Coast Guard, who could not confirm whether the shoal was the cause of damage on the icebreaker.
The Coast Guard is still investigating what caused that breach, according to the spokesman Shawn Eggert.
World Maritime News Staff