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Shell drilling barge suffered damage to generators

Dan Joling, Associated Press

A salvage team moves an emergency towing system across the deck of petroleum drilling ship Kulluk in this photo made Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, and provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. There's no indication of a fuel leak from Kulluk, the Coast Guard said Wednesday night, Jan. 2, 2013, of a maritime accident that has refueled debate over oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill vessel aground off a remote Gulf of Alaska island is upright and stable but has suffered damage to generators and its upper deck.

Shell incident commander Sean Churchfield says a salvage team found open hatches that allowed water to enter the Kulluk (CULL'-uck), which drilled in the Beaufort (BOH'-fort) Sea during the 2012 open water season.

The Coast Guard says there's no indication of a fuel leak.

The drilling barge ran around Monday night after it lost a line to its main towing vessel and couldn't be controlled by a tugboat.

Churchfield says damage to the barge's generators means salvagers may have to bring external generators on board or work without power. He says the salvage is in the assessment stage and it's too early to tell when the vessel can be moved.