ANCHORAGE, États-Unis - Aucun déversement n'a été constaté dans la plateforme mobile de forage qui s'est échouée sur une île de l'Alaska durant une tempête, ont indiqué des responsables mercredi, tandis que des écologistes critiquent la course effrénée pour exploiter les ressources naturelles de l'Arctique.

Le coordonnateur des secours fédéraux sur place, le capitaine Paul Mehler, a indiqué que la plateforme de forage appartenant à Shell transportait environ 541 300 litres de diesel et environ 45 425 litres d'huile lubrifiante et de fluide hydraulique.

La plateforme semble stable et rien n'indique qu'il y ait une fuite des produits à bord, a dit le capitaine Mehler lors d'une conférence de presse.

Des vents violents en haute mer ont empêché les experts d'inspecter la plateforme pour vérifier si elle a été endommagée lors de son échouement sur une île inhabitée de l'Alaska, a-t-il ajouté. Un avion et un hélicoptère de la garde côtière américaine ont survolé les lieux mardi.

Une équipe de Shell, des membres de la garde côtière et des responsables locaux se mobilisent pour rassembler l'équipement nécessaire à un éventuel déversement et élaborent un plan d'action. Le lieu de l'échouement abrite au moins deux espèces en voie de disparition, ainsi que des phoques communs, des lions de mer et des saumons.

Le capitaine Mehler a indiqué qu'une équipe d'environ 500 personnes travaillait sur un plan de sauvetage.

La plateforme mobile de forage s'est échouée lors d'une violente tempête le week-end dernier alors qu'elle était remorquée vers Seattle pour des travaux d'entretien. La tempête s'est apaisée mardi.

Un responsable de Shell a indiqué que la plateforme était recouverte d'une coque double d'acier renforcé de 7,6 centimètres d'épaisseur. La plateforme avait été améliorée au coût de 292 millions $ US avant d'être mise en service pour une courte période l'an dernier dans la mer de Beaufort, au large de la côte nord de l'Alaska.

Le représentant Ed Markey, le plus haut responsable démocrate de la commission des ressources naturelles à la Chambre des représentants à Washington, s'est dit inquiet par la situation dans un communiqué diffusé mardi.

«Les entreprises pétrolières continuent de dire qu'elles peuvent conquérir l'Arctique, mais l'Arctique continue d'exprimer son désaccord avec les entreprises pétrolières», a dit M. Markey. «L'expansion des forages pourrait se révéler désastreuse pour cet environnement sensible.»

Le responsable des opérations chez Shell, Sean Churchfield, a indiqué qu'une enquête serait menée quand la situation serait sous contrôle. Il n'était pas en mesure de dire si les conclusions de l'enquête seraient rendues publiques.

La garde côtière américaine mènera sa propre enquête et rendra son rapport public.

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  • This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. A Coast Guard C-130 plane and a helicopter were used to fly over the grounded vessel on Tuesday morning. The severe weather did not permit putting the marine experts on board the drilling rig, which is near shore and being pounded by stormy seas. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

  • This aerial image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. No leak has been seen from the drilling ship that grounded off the island during a storm, officials said Wednesday, as opponents criticized the growing race to explore the Arctic for energy resources. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

  • This aerial image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, Incident Management Team commander, observing the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground during an overflight off a small island near Kodiak Island Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. No leak has been seen from the drilling ship that grounded off the island during a storm, officials said Wednesday, as opponents criticized the growing race to explore the Arctic for energy resources. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Sara Francis)

  • 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)

  • A photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a salvage team wrapping up lines from an emergency towing system delivered to the deck of the petroleum drilling ship Kulluk Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in the Gulf of Alaska. The grounding of the drill ship on a remote Alaska island has refueled the debate over oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

  • In this photo provided by the United States Coast Guard, the tugs Aiviq and Nanuq tow the mobile drilling unit Kulluk while a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Kodiak transports crew members on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska. The tug lost the initial tow Thursday and suffered several engine failures prompting the deployment of response assets by the Coast Guard and Royal Dutch Shell. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)

  • In this photo provided by the United States Coast Guard, crew members of the mobile drilling unit Kulluk arrive at Air Station Kodiak after being airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter crew from a vessel 80 miles southwest of Kodiak, Alaska on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. A total of 18 crew members of the mobile drilling unit were airlifted to safety after they suffered issues and setbacks with the tug and tow. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg)

  • In this photo provided by the United States Coast Guard, a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak conducts the 13th hoist of 18 crewmen from the mobile drilling unit Kulluk on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 80 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska. The tug Aiviq suffered problems towing the Kulluk Thursday prompting the Coast Guard to deploy cutters and aircraft to while Royal Dutch Shell dispatched additional tugs.(AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)

  • In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the tug Aiviq travels at just under 2 mph with the mobile drilling unit Kulluk in tow 116 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. The crews remain stationed with the drill rig Kulluk Sunday 20 miles from Alaska's Kodiak Island as they wait in rough seas for another tug boat to arrive. The Coast Guard says the goal is to tow the Kulluk to a safe harbor and determine the next step. (AP Photo/U.S Coast Guard, Chris Usher)

  • In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the mobile drilling unit Kulluk is towed by the tugs Aiviq and Nanuq in 29 mph winds and 20-foot seas 116 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. The crews remain stationed with the drill rig Kulluk Sunday 20 miles from Alaska's Kodiak Island as they wait in rough seas for another tug boat to arrive. The Coast Guard says the goal is to tow the Kulluk to a safe harbor and determine the next step. (AP Photo/U.S Coast Guard, Chris Usher)

  • Shell-Arctic Drill Ship

    Shell Oil incident commander Susan Childs, second from right, answers a question about the Monday night grounding of the Shell drill ship Kulluk at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at the Mariott Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. Looking on are Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith, standing, Coast Guard Commander Shane Montoya, state on-scene coordinator Alan Wien, and Garth Pulkkinen of Noble Corp., the operator of the Kulluk. The drifting Shell drill ship that broke loose from tow vessels during a severe Gulf of Alaska storm ran aground Monday in shallow water off Sitkalidak Island, company officials said. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

  • In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows two life rafts sit on the beach adjacent as the conical drilling unit Kulluk sits grounded 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012. The Kulluk grounded after many efforts by tug vessel crews and Coast Guard crews to move the vessel to safe harbor during a winter storm.Calls for federal scrutiny of Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling operations in Arctic waters swelled Thursday with a request for a formal investigation by members of Congress. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Painter)

  • Royal Dutch Shell PLC incident commander Sean Churchfield briefs reporters on the status of salvage operations for the Shell drill ship Kulluk at a news conference in the Denaíina Civic and Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska. The drill ship ran aground on Monday, Dec. 31, off Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

  • In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard the conical drilling unit Kulluk sits grounded 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012. The Kulluk grounded after many efforts by tug vessel crews and Coast Guard crews to move the vessel to safe harbor during a winter storm.Calls for federal scrutiny of Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling operations in Arctic waters swelled Thursday with a request for a formal investigation by members of Congress. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Painter)

  • Coast Guard Capt. Paul Mehler briefs reporters on the status of salvage operations for the Shell drill ship Kulluk at a press conference in the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska. The drill ship ran aground on Monday, Dec. 31, off Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

  • This aerial image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. No leak has been seen from the drilling ship that grounded off the island during a storm, officials said, as opponents criticized the growing race to explore the Arctic for energy resources. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)