Drill rig a step closer to inlet

Buccaneer working on agreement with Archer Drilling

Buccaneer Energy passed another milestone on the way to bringing a jack-up rig to the Cook Inlet.
The company has selected a Texas-based company, Archer Drilling, as its preferred operator for the Adriatic XI rig it is bringing to the inlet. According to Buccaneer's announcement last week, an agreement with Archer is contingent upon a final plan for the work Archer will be doing. That plan is expected to take about 21 days to complete.
Archer will be coming up with contracts to manage the shipyard modifications to the jack-up rig, manage the process for mobilizing the rig from Singapore to the Cook Inlet, and operate the rig in the inlet once it arrives, according to Buccaneer's announcement. Archer's subsidiary, Rig Inspection Services, did work on the Adriatic for its current owner, according to Buccaneer's announcement.
Dean Gallegos, a spokesman for Buccaneer, said the company is still on track for having the new rig, to be named Endeavour, the Spirit of Alaska, in the inlet by April or May 2012. That date will be refined once the company has a firm shipyard schedule for the work needing to be done before the rig is transported, Gallegos said in an email.
Buccaneer's subsidiary, Kenai Offshore Ventures, and the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority have postponed the completion of the next steps to carry out the project. That next step, finalizing the key conditions of the two parties' joint ownership agreement, was due Sept. 30. That has been postponed to allow time for Buccaneer to seal the deal with Archer. Finalizing those conditions also requires Buccaneer to provide a guarantee to AIDEA that Buccaneer will drill four wells with the rig, which is also in the works, according to Buccaneer's announcement.
Bucaneer is also continuing to work on its onshore development in Kenai Loop, near WalMart. According to an announcement, the company is now doing flow testing on its second well in the area to determine the gas reserves in some parts of that loop, including the two deepest portions of that well. The well's fourth section, from 10,560 to 10,620, is deeper than the first well drilled in that area.
The company is also ready to drill a third well in the Kenai Loop area.

Molly Dischner can be reached at molly.dischner@peninsulaclarion.com.