Plans for jack-up rig progressing

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2011

Kenai's City Council heard an update on oil and gas development in the city and in Cook Inlet on Wednesday night.

A decision scheduled for this morning could advance the company's efforts to bring a jack-up rig to the inlet.

Regardless of that decision, the company is making progress on their well north of the Walmart parking lot, said Mark Landt, from Buccaneer Alaska LLC.

The company is ready to start flaring the well, he said.

Buccaneer is also pursuing both oil and gas in the inlet.

"We've got two wells in the Southern Cross Unit and two wells in the Northwest Cook Inlet Unit," Landt said.

Drilling at those wells could start at the end of this open water season if things move quickly, although Landt cautioned that drilling might have to wait until next spring.

Landt said that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority board is meeting Friday morning. Hopefully they'll sign-off on paperwork partnering with Buccaneer to bring a Jackup rig to the inlet, he said.

If the partnership goes through, Buccaneer would keep the rig in the inlet for a longer period of time, rather than taking it out after one season.

"We can leave it in the Cook Inlet for at least five years," Landt said.

The company is still exploring options of where to store it during the offseason. Landt said Homer and Seward are both on the table.

If board signs off on the project, the rig will undergo upgrades in Southeast Asia, and then be brought north. It has operated in arctic conditions before, but most recently was mobilized in Southeast Asia, so it needs to be rewinterized, Landt said.

He also talked a little bit about rig safety.

Before the company starts moving the rig, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will inspect it in Singapore, Landt said. Once its working in Alaska, it will be inspected and tested weekly.

— Staff Report

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