Escopeta rig heads to Cook Inlet

The Spartan Drilling Co. Blake 151 jack-up rig under contract to Houston-based independent Escopta Oil and Gas Co. departed Vancouver, British Columbia, for Alaska's Cook Inlet July 20, an Escopeta spokesman said.

The rig is under tow by three ocean tugs operated by Foss Maritime. It is expected to arrive in Cook Inlet on approximately Aug. 1, company spokesman Steve Sutherland said.

Escopta has been at the center of controversy over an attempt to transport the Blake 151 rig from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Alaska without a waiver of the U.S. Jones Act. Escopeta chartered a Chinese heavy-left vessel to move the rig while attempting to negotiate the Jones Act waiver with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. When the negotiations failed the heavy-lift vessel with the rig diverted to Vancouver, where modifications were done that had been planned to be done in Alaska.

Although the Blake 151 is now being towed by U.S. Vessels with a route up the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska and across the Gulf of Alaska, there may still be a Jones Act violation declared when the jack-up rig reaches Cook Inlet.

Sutherland said negotiations are continuing and that the company could make no comment on a possible violation or a penalty that might be paid.

More

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 21:45

Red Cross to host volunteer orientation in Soldotna

Flexibility is key in helping during a disaster. Jenne Long learned that within a few hours of arriving in Texas two weeks ago to help... Read more

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 21:42

New life at the ‘Sterling Zoo’

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 21:40

Soldotna continues annexation discussion

The discussion of Soldotna’s potential annexation is moving out of city council chambers.

Read more

Body found on beach identified as Kurt Keltner

The Alaska State Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of a body found on the north Kenai beach last week as Kurt Keltner.

Read more