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Buccaneer gives update on operations

Posted: August 11, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: August 11, 2011 - 8:46am

Escopeta wasn’t the only oil and gas company in Kenai on Wednesday.

Buccaneer Alaska’s Mark Landt stopped in at Kenai Chamber of Commerce’s weekly lunch to brief the community on his company’s operations.

“We look forward to being here a long time,” Landt said.

The company’s most immediate development is an onshore site behind Walmart, near Marathon’s Cannery Loop site.

Landt said the company will likely spud a second well in that area in the next two weeks.

The first natural gas well was drilled this spring, and proved to be more successful than expected. By the end of 2011, Buccaneer expects that well to be producing.

Landt said the company is in discussions right now about selling its gas.

“Clearly there’s a potential shortage in the local gas market projected in the next few years,” Landt said.

Buccaneer has three to five wells planned for that Kenai Loop site in the next year, Landt said.

Like Escopeta, Buccaneer also has an offshore drilling program in the works. The company expects to have a jack-up rig in the inlet by the end of the year, Landt said.

“We are preparing currently to sign the final documentation with the seller,” Landt said.

Buccaneer has worked with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority on funding the Adriatic XI jack-up rig.

Under the terms of that agreement, Buccaneer will conduct an initial full well program for about two years.

Depending on the success of that program and the company’s other prospects, it will either use the rig for further development or arrange for another producer in Alaska to use it, Landt said.

“Our plan is to keep it here at least five years,” he said.

Landt estimated that the jack-up rig will directly and indirectly create about 300 jobs.

“Our strong preference is going to be to hire locally,” he said.

Other work in the area would create additional jobs, he said.

The company has two offshore units it plans to develop. Both oil and gas prospects are available to the company. The first well would be in the Southern Cross Unit, which is near the middle of the inlet, northwest of Nikiski. If all goes as planned, that’s scheduled for drilling next year.

The next well would be in the Northwest Cook Inlet unit, which is farther north than the Southern Cross Unit.

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