Shell Says Kulluk Left Dutch Harbor to Avoid Taxes

Testimony continues in the grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill barge off a remote Alaska island.

Credit: 1st Class Petty Officer Sarah Francis

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE- Testimony continues in the grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill barge off a remote Alaska island.
   
Shell officials acknowledged to a Coast Guard investigative panel on Saturday that the Kulluk oil drilling rig left Dutch Harbor in December to avoid the prospect of millions in taxes.
   
Shell officials previously said that taxes were not the main reason for the move's timing.
   
The barge ran aground Dec. 31 off tiny Sitkalidak Island. All 18 people on board had been lifted off in baskets lowered by Coast Guard helicopter and the vessel was refloated six days later, but damage to the Kulluk cost Shell the chance to drill during the short open water season in 2013.
 

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