Apache partners, Buccaneer buys Cosmo

Endeavour rig makes progress to area, 1st stop near Tyonek

Two oil and gas exploration companies recently announced the formation of separate partnerships with other entities they say will allow them to better search for oil and gas in Cook Inlet.


Apache Corp. announced in early August it is partnering with Cook Inlet Region, Inc. to explore on the Native corporation’s acreage in the inlet.

According to a press release, the agreement brings Apache’s total holding to 1 million acres of onshore and offshore land in the area. The company is currently in the middle of a multi-year 3D seismic testing effort across the Peninsula and has plans to drill its first well in the area later this year.

Lisa Parker, Apache governmental relations manager, said the agreement with CIRI starts with seismic testing on those lands and then could develop into further exploration or drilling.

“We have a lease and a period of time that we will be doing seismic and ... through the seismic if we identify hydrocarbons in places we can drill, we will then do exploration drilling and hopefully bring it into production,” Parker said.

Parker said CIRI is allowing Apache access to all its acreage that is otherwise uncommitted — an area stretching from the Susitna flats down past the West Forelands area and over to Anchor Point.

Currently the company is in the middle of offshore seismic operations, gearing up to begin seismic work from Ninilchik to Anchor Point and has plans to place nodes on land in Nikiski to help with offshore seismic imaging.

Parker said the exploratory well Apache plans to drill onshore is on the west side of the inlet. The company hopes to mobilize a drilling rig it will either purchase or lease by late September or early October, she said.


Buccaneer, BlueCrest buy Cosmo unit

On Thursday, Buccaneer Energy announced it would partner with BlueCrest Energy to acquire the Cosmopolitan Project, which is an oil and gas field located in 50 feet of water in Cook Inlet near Anchor Point.

The project was formerly owned by Pioneer Natural Resources.

The Cosmopolitan project is located near Buccaneer’s other assets and will be explored with the Endeavour jack-up rig currently headed for Cook Inlet from Singapore, according to a press release.

The Endeavour is currently in deep waters and should arrive in Cook Inlet at the end of next week, a company spokesman said. The rig’s first stop will be at Buccaneer’s leases in the Northwest Cook Inlet Unit, which is located near ConocoPhillip’s Tyonek platform. From there it will move to the Cosmo unit.

“The strong interest in the region, which contains the Cosmo project, is demonstrated by Apache Corporation acquiring leases surrounding and adjoining the leases near Cosmo during the last state lease sale conducted in June 2011,” the company wrote in the release.

Buccaneer said it would explore Cosmo in two separate phases — the first being a shallow gas development estimated at 3,000 feet deep drilled with Endeavour and the second being a deeper oil development estimated at 6,000 feet deep that can be produced with onshore directional drilling.

Wells drilled by the Endeavour rig will help the company determine the amount of resources in the formation, it wrote in the release. Since the formation is located in waters that typically don’t see ice formations, Buccaneer can drill during the winter.

BlueCrest, a Texas-based company, has a 75 percent working interest in the project, leaving Buccaneer 25 percent. However, the two companies have set up an agreement designating Buccaneer as the operator of the project. Closing documents on the purchase, however, won’t be finalized until Buccaneer’s lending company has signed off. Buccaneer expects to submit those documents on Aug. 20, it wrote.