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Buccaneer works on seismic, wells

Drilling prep

Posted: March 6, 2012 - 9:35am

Buccaneer Energy, the Australian-independent working near Wal-Mart, is continuing its natural gas exploration and development efforts with seismic studies throughout Kenai.

Weems Geophysical is overseeing Buccaneer's seismic efforts on the central Kenai Peninsula. Heliportable work, which uses a helicopter to move a drill from one location to location to another, began last month. John Land, from Weems, said his company is still finishing the permitting process for work on the city's roads.

Buccaneer has said the seismic work should wrap up by the end of March. The road based work will include creating the vibrations that are used to gauge the subterreanian surfaces throughout the city.

Late last week, the city of Kenai had not yet handed over the needed permits for work to begin on roadways in town, said Rick Koch, Kenai's city manager.

Koch has said previously that 48-hour notification will be a requirement of the city's permits, meaning that all residents will receive a heads up before work is done on their street.

Land said 48 hours provides the company a close enough window to know what it's doing, but also gives residents more than just one day's warning.

Buccaneer spokesman Dean Gallegos said in a statement that the seismic work will enable Buccaneer to continue drilling at its Kenai Loop site, off Marathon Road near WalMart.

"The primary intent of the seismic program is to identify low risk drilling sites for future Kenai Loop development wells," Gallegos wrote. "With improved seismic imaging the Company believes it will be possible to rapidly drill and place online a number of wells from existing drilling pad sites."

Buccaneer announced March 1 that the first well in that area is producing 5.1 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Buccaneer said production may increase in the next month or two. Keeping gas flowing has required additional equipment due to cold weather and high flowing pressures, according to the statement from Gallegos, but production has been under way since mid-January.

Buccaneer's gas is sold to Enstar as part of its daily bidding, and to ConocoPhillips for use at that company's Liquified Natural Gas plant in Nikiski. Beginning in April, Buccaneer's gas is scheduled to be inserted into the Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska facility in Kenai. That facility will store natural gas for use when demand exceeds production.

Gallegos also said the next well in the Kenai Loop area will likely be drilled in April or May. The next well will likely be drilled from the same pad as the first well in that loop.

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

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