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All eyes on the Inlet

Posted: August 12, 2011 - 8:41am

As Escopeta Oil and Gas’ Spartan 151 jack-up rig cruised through Cook Inlet waters this week, the mood was palpable.

Its arrival clearly excited the community, and for good reason.

That hunk of machinery being tugged to its new home symbolized the arrival of a new day in Southcentral Alaska energy production — a new landscape of diverse oil and gas companies.

These smaller, independent companies are hungry to produce the resources once dominated by the major players — Chevron, Marathon, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil.

Over the last several months we have heard encouraging news about these smaller companies’ interest. It seems they are widening their eyes on the potential under our waters and that’s good news for our communities from Hope to Homer.

Officials at Escopeta have indicated the Spartan 151 would likely stay in the area for eight years, or hopefully more.

Buccaneer officials also indicated at a lunch meeting Wednesday that they have plans to keep their off-shore operations for about five years.

Escopeta and Buccaneer join a list of relatively new companies — including Cook Inlet Energy, Apache, Hillcorp, and Nordaq, among others — who plan to fill a void in Alaska’s energy development portfolio.

Let’s make it clear to those companies and officials that they are welcome here and their businesses will provide a much-needed boost to our community and economy.

Although these companies aren’t making too many promises about what they might be able to produce because of obvious supply, market and shipping considerations, what is clear are the hard facts.

These rigs will need workers and a massive support network to keep them operational.

Those jobs and service opportunities will be a boon to an economy that’s been relatively healthy despite seeing its share of ups and downs. We hope an extended presence will be able to anchor us down while other exciting energy projects — geothermal and tidal — come online.

The economic spillover also comes with added energy security locally and probably for the rest of the state.

The key, however, to keeping these companies in the area, aside from what’s under their drills, is our attitude about them.

We must make it a priority to roll out the welcome mat and not view them as just oil companies hungry for black gold and natural gas, but rather as community partners that can help us grow in an economically stable path.

In short: We welcome the change and developments occurring the Cook Inlet. The spectrum of new companies eager to begin exploring our resources is exciting and we expect our community to rally behind, ensuring your needs are met. We hope you have a long, healthy stay.

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spwright
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spwright 08/12/11 - 01:58 pm
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Hire Iraq & Afghan Vets 1st

Fri. 8/12/11
I am very Happy to see New Job Opportunities here on the Kenai Peninsula.
Now perhaps the Nikiski "North Road Industrial Ghetto"
can be revived & brought to Life again ?

There is No Other Group of Alaskans that have EARNED the right to Move to the Front of the Line with Employment Opportunities & Job Interviews than Our Very Own Alaskan Military Veterans.

These Veterans & Their Families have literately Been Thru Hell & Back over the last 10 years. Combat Deployments after Combat Deployments year after year of separation.

27 % Unemployment within these Combat Veterans.

They have EARNED the right to Move to the Front of the Line

SPW "Airborne"

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