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.