drill ship headed to Seward



Shell Oil’s drill ship  “Noble Discoverer” will be heading to Seward from Unalaska.   It has recently completed Shell Oil’s first season of exploratory Arctic offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea.



    • ~in a small town...

      Seward has the distinction of being one of the longer termed
      ‘ice-free ports’ in the North (eastern) Pacific; which is why it
      originally was ideal for a southern Alaskan railroad terminus.

      Other floating oil platforms have been overwintered in this Bay.

      The protection from the storms (except for more common than
      previous un-seasonable high tide surges, semi-tropical fronts,
      and the effects of a changing climate) is evident to any locals
      who have been brave or lacking fear, ventured out of the Bay.

      Winter can bring a typhoon with thunder and lightning nowadays.
      But the shelter of Resurrection Bay should suffice so long as the
      parked greed platform doesn’t leak new debris into local waters.
      There already are old containers of fuel products down under
      the surface of the Bay from the 1964 Earthquake & Renovation.

      Just don’t expect much of an economic job increase from this
      unless it somehow harbors some kind of ill-wind of bad news.
      No new numbers of persons would be required to mothball or
      to repair this that don’t already work at a Seward ships facility.

      You could try super-insulating your home and find alternatives
      to using fossil fuels in your daily life to minimize the real costs.

      Cheers 🙂

      ~in a small town…
      kenai mountains, alaska.

  1. Slipped its moorings in July in Dutch Harbor. Caught fire today in Dutch Harbor. Welcome in Seward?

    • Absolutely welcome in Seward! Maybe we can make some extra this winter renting out rooms to GreenPeace members!!!

    • Dragged anchor in Dutch, not unusual. Had an engine backfire in Dutch, did not “catch fire”. Do you ride a bike everywhere? Any petroleum byproducts in your home? Where do you think these things come from? We are dependant on petroleum and the rig is an example of that.

  2. While the reason for this ship being in Alaskan waters is anything but ‘noble’ if it has to park anywhere, I’d just as soon see it here – as long as they pay up front!

    And on the bright side, prehaps we’ll get some folks here to stay in hotels and eat at restaurants…both workers on the ship and protestors.

  3. Today, Shell made threats to bring longshore labor from out of town and cut local Longshoremen out of the unloading and resuppling of these vessels in the in Seward if ILWU Unit 60 does not make huge contractual concessions in the next two weeks. Shell was told by Unit 60, in no uncertian terms, that there would be NO CONCESSIONS and undermining of the local longshore workforce will NOT BE TOLERATED under any circumstance. Seward ILWU Longshoremen have been doing this work for decades and will continue doing so for decades to come. Shell Oil is nothing more than a “flash in the pan” that is attempting to exploite a small town that they believe can be easily taken advantage of (steamrolled).

    • They can hire and do business with whomever they please. That being said, their presence here might bring a distraction so they should try to get along with the locals. As long as the locals are giving them a fair deal.

    • Be sure to let us know if you need some extra non-longshoring locals to shout scab. I have always wanted the opportunity to participate in pro union demonstrations.

  4. the Rig isn’t here yet and the whining has begun….

  5. Why not Seward? The winter economy badly needs a boost.

  6. It’s good to see our port utilized year round. A lot of the folks I’ve talked with welcome this business. The Noble Discoverer and the coastal village vessels complement our summer visitor industry.

  7. I agree! great addition to our economy and it is nice to see the port utilized to int’s potential and beyound. I welcome the new possibilities this will bring. Let’s welcome them with open arms.

  8. Nothing the Rail Road gets the money

  9. Unfortunate for Seward.The rig will be on private property and heavily guarded.the only beneficiaries will be Tote!

    • Not to mention gas for their vehicle, food for there home/apartments, repair of their personal vehicles and various other businesses that will profit from their dealings around town-some even may have families that want to move here and send their kids to school……..

  10. It will bring additional Property Taxes and potential indirect winter jobs, both of which are beneficial to our town. Hopefully this is a start to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with the oil industry.

  11. Our whole community benefits when business is added. Groceries, local eateries, fuel stations, etc. It doesn’t matter who gets the rent.
    Fact…increased business leads to increased hours for employees of our local businesses.
    Welcome ‘Noble Discoverer’

  12. Sandie couldnt agree with you more. Welcome “Noble Discover” and the other vessels and people that will be coming. This is a win win.

    • If one only considers the short term local economic benefit of more consumers in town then yes it is a win-win for local merchants.

      But if one were to pull one’s head out of the sand and consider the long term global implications of continuing to attempt to drill our way out of our economic mess then our community’s cheerleading for the oil industry’s effort to discover and tap more resources seem meager and shortsighted and quite frankly selfish.

      The latest climate science indicates that the release of 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will result in a 2C degree rise resulting in major problems. For perspective the oil industry already has over 2700 gigatons worth of carbon dioxide emissions in their current reserves if it were all to be burned. Still think we can drill our way out of this mess?

      Adds weight to the adage “think globally, act locally”.

      Excerpt: Global leaders recently came to an international agreement based on the scientific understanding that a global temperature raise of 2°C would have “catastrophic” consequences for the future of humanity. In order to raise global temperatures to this catastrophic threshold, the world would have to release 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Here’s the problem: Fossil fuel companies currently have 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide in their fuel reserves—and their business model depends on that fuel being sold and burned. At current rates of consumption, the world will have blown through its 565-gigaton threshold in 16 years.

  13. ~in a small town...

    Whilst consideration of resource management is underway, perhaps
    the local taxi companies would team up to provide all-weather pedal
    cabs where ride-share folk could pedal together, share a ride, talk &
    perhaps trade secrets on how to adjust to a changing climate of fear?

    And time-share space in front of a community fire-barrel donated by
    the very corporate interests whose export of a majority of the BTU
    resources we’d need in any climate variable, could be arranged so
    those who think the messenger should be miserable first, would not
    be alone to discuss this matter.

    And no coffee since that takes tons of pollution to get it here from the tropics.
    Maybe we could make a seaweed, sawdust, & fish-scale brew to replace it?
    Think globally and act like you appreciate the challenge of a new ice age
    with minimal resources locally of easy access to survive it.

    Maybe Doug could volunteer to alternate with Russ, to pull each other
    around Seward to conserve resources, barefoot like ‘spaceman bruce’
    in order to give the rest of us good role models. There are so few. 🙂

    ~in a small town…
    kenai mountains, ak.

    • I wouldn’t tow anyone around barefooted. But I’d be happy to give folks a ride in my big block v8 powered truck. I’m a happy user of fossil fuels. And I’ll use it until either something better comes along or we run out. I really do appreciate people shunning fossil fuels and refusing to use it. Saves more for the rest of us.

  14. Thanks kind of always been my heartburn with Russ and his RBCA. A hypocrite of the worst kind. They will not stop driving or heating their homes with fossil fuels. If they did the message they preach wouldn’t really bother me. This analogy comes to mind when I see anything he writes. It’s like a drug counselor, with a crack addiction.

  15. Hypocrits abound

  16. And people wonder why businesses don’t come to this town, if they don’t come here they are going to port somewhere else. I say WELCOME and THANK YOU for choosing our community to harbor in!!

  17. I am all about progress and bringing good to the city of
    Seward. But, I will also carry a big heart for ILWU local 60 my dad my brother my brothers son and my daughter jenni working for them. Lets keep locals working in all of this.

    • Right on Pam. Having a ship here will mean nothing to the community if what they are planning on happens:

      -No revenue to the harbor since the boat is mooring at the AKRR Dock
      -No local jobs because crew will remain on the ship and the dock-based workers will come from Anchorage

      We will, however, benefit from the added pollution and occasional backfire from the engines that will be heard miles away from the ship.

      The ILWU Longshoremen (and Women) charge a bit more for their services than SCABS because:
      -They offer benefits such as some healthcare, time off with pay, and life insurance to their workers
      -Their UNION workers are trained and certified to do what they are getting paid to do
      -Their UNION workers are familiar with the port, its hazards, and its equipment

      Maybe we need to send a community message to Shell (foreign corporation with a trail of disaster, abuse of local communities, and environmental catastrophe from Nigeria to the North Sea to Dutch Harbor and soon the Chuckchi and Beaufort) that we are not interested in their business unless the community has something to gain.

      Chuck- i’ll be there to support my UNION brothers and sisters to protect their homes, families and jobs from SCABS.

      • Last night Shell (via Tote) committed to abiding by the ILWU contract, and this morning started an initial round of Shell required safety training for Seward ILWU Longshoremen to preform the Longshore work associated with these vessels. This appears to be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship between Shell and the Seward Community. Hopefully this cooperation by Shell and Tote will continue to be be realized by supporting local businesses and adhering to environmental regulations. Thank You to Dave, Pam, Tim, Russ and everyone for your support and letting Shell know that Seward will not be “railroaded” , now or in the future.

        Chuck Wendt
        Seward Resident & President ILWU Alaska Longshore Division