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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Icebreaker Aiviq Joins Shell Oil Drillships

Shell Oil's brand new icebreaker-class anchor handling tug supply vessel, M/V Aiviq, entered Elliott Bay this morning and tied up at Vigor Shipyards, where two Shell drillships, Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, are currently winding up extensive modifications before departing for the Arctic later this month.

According to, the 118-meter Aiviq is among the most advanced and powerful non-military icebreakers afloat. We suspect the Aiviq will accompany the two drillships on their voyage to the Arctic.

In our May 31 post, we reported that the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza had entered Elliott Bay and anchored off Duwamish Head, just outside the 1,000-meter drillship safety zone established by a federal district court judge. Yesterday, Esperanza lifted anchor and departed Elliott Bay. A short while later, she passed through the Hiram Chittenden Locks into the Ship Canal, which links Puget Sound with Lake Union and Lake Washington. reports that she is currently moored on the north side and at the east end of the Ship Canal, just west of Gas Works Park.