Shell’s Private Arctic Launch Party Goes Wrong

by Travis Gertz

The symbolism is amazing on so many levels.

“It all started with a malfunction… of the event’s centerpiece, a scale model of the Kulluk, one of the rigs heading up north, which was sitting in a basin of liquor (rum and coke?) next to an ice sculpture in the shape of an iceberg.

I guess the photo-op was meant to be a symbolic tapping of the Arctic. There was a ridiculous three-foot-high scale model of their Arctic drilling rig, the Kulluk, and the mini-rig had a tap to pump liquor for the guests.

The guest of honor was an elderly Japanese man introduced as the original Chief Engineer of the Kulluk rig who used to work at Mitsui back in the ’80s. But when the man went to turn on the ‘rig,’ the liquor went everywhere – and the first to be hit was another elderly guest, the widow of the man who’d actually designed the Kulluk back in the 1980s.

The guy in charge kept asking the old engineer to fix it but he obviously had no idea how to turn it off. Shell’s PR people got REALLY worked up, and the designer’s widow started yelling. At this point the guy who was presenting the new ad campaign told me to turn off my camera and got pretty aggressive.”

Via Occupy Seattle

Update: Turns out this was just a brilliant hoax orchestrated by The Yes Men. Hilarious!