Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Drilling Rig Cited for Safety Faults

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Drilling Rig Cited for Safety Faults

Article excerpt

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The U.S. Coast Guard has turned over its investigation of violations on a Royal Dutch Shell PLC Arctic drill ship to the Department of Justice, officials said Friday.

The violations were found after the drilling season when the Noble Discoverer was in dock in Seward, Alaska. Shell's other Arctic drill barge, the Kulluk, remains in a sheltered bay off Alaska's Kodiak Island, where it was towed after grounding on New Year's Eve.

The Coast Guard found 16 violations on the 571-foot Noble Discoverer after it completed drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northern coast.

The violations included fire hazards and problems with the propulsion system that didn't allow the ship to operate at a sufficient speed at sea to safely maneuver in all expected conditions.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, who oversees Alaska operations, recommended the investigation be forwarded to the U.S. attorney's office, said Lt. Veronica Colbath, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

GOP targets Treasury pick

WASHINGTON -- Republicans are voicing new concerns about the Obama administration's pick for treasury secretary, questioning both Jacob Lew's lucrative 2001 contract with New York University and whether he had anything to do with his subsequent employer Citigroup's winning a lucrative preferred-lender deal to provide loans to students.

Leading the charge is Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who this week pressed for more disclosure about a mortgage deal granted by NYU to Mr. Lew. Mr. Grassley also released the treasury nominee's written responses to questions about his time as executive vice president at the university after leaving the Clinton administration, and Friday he demanded more.

Mr. Grassley, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, which must confirm Mr. Lew, is particularly interested in how Citigroup won preferred-lender status at the school and whether Mr. Lew was in any way involved.

Panel backs Fla. …

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