Xiang Rui Kou with Kulluk aboard heads for Singapore

The heavy lift vessel Xiang Rui Kou with Shell’s drill rig Kulluk aboard slipped anchor Wednesday morning and headed for Singapore. A vessel tracking site showed the large ship with seriously large cargo moving at a respectable 13 knots. When towed by the powerful tug Aiviq the Kulluk made only 4 knots. The passage should take about two weeks. Shell has not said how long the Kulluq will be in Singapore for repairs, but the 2013 drilling season will not happen and the 2014 season is in jeopardy.

The Kulluk was heavily damaged by salt water and wave action when it grounded off Kodiak Island New Year’s Eve. The hull sustained damage and the electronics aboard the circular vessel were destroyed. The rig was being towed to a shipyard in Tacoma for upgrades when heavy seas parted the tow line. A series of mishaps in attempting to regain control of the rig led to the crew abandoning ship and the subsequent grounding.