Posted: 07/17/2012 12:45 pm
Royal Dutch Shell, the global energy giant, has already invested more than $4 billion in its Arctic drilling venture, but that was apparently not enough to purchase proper mooring in Alaska's Dutch Harbor and avoid a subsequent public relations mess.
Precisely what happened is still being sorted out. Official accounts had the Noble Discoverer, one of two massive drilling rigs that Shell had parked midway up the Aleutian Island chain, dragging anchor in stiff winds over the weekend before coming to a halt 100 yards offshore.
Locals, including a shutterbug harbor captain, disputed that scenario and lit up Twitter and Facebook with photographs showing the rig all but on the beach.
"There's no question it hit the beach," Kristjan Laxfoss, the harbor captain, told The Associated Press on Sunday. "That ship was not coming any closer. It was on the beach."
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