Drilling off East End Road planned
• Buccaneer’s plans involve East End Road, Kenai Loop and units in Cook Inlet
By Naomi Klouda
The jackup rig, Endeavour Spirit of Alaska, is now moored at the Homer Harbor where moorage fees of $871 per day and work for local electricians, plumbers and other tradesmen will be good for the local economy, city officials say.
The Buccaneer Energy jackup rig arrived in Kachemak Bay Friday afternoon, and will remain here through Aug. 31 to have work done preparing it for Cook Inlet.
The Endeavour jackup rig’s legs are 410 feet, or as high as a 28-story building that form a highly noticeable presence in the bay.
City Manager Walt Wrede was notified that the Endeavor would need moorage for six days while plumbing and electrical work is being completed on it. It was to be moored to the Deep Water Dock Monday night but delayed due to permitting.
The rig is aboard the Kang Sheng Kou transport ship, awaiting off-load into the Bay. Then it will float as a barge. The date for off-loading has been postponed and may occur today.
It was to be on top of the big transport vessel, then on Saturday morning, they were to float it.
“It will be interesting to watch. What they do, is that the transport vessel sinks, and all you see is the wheelhouse. Then three tugs pull the drill rig off the transport vessel,” Wrede said.
At the Deep Water Dock, Buccaneer will do retrofitting, electrical and plumbing to get it ready for drilling.
“This will mean work for the marine trades folks here in Homer. Then they will tow it to Cook Inlet to its first drilling site,” Wrede said.
The City of Homer’s harbor enterprise fund will also be paid moorage fees and fees for crossing the dock, Wrede said.
On Monday night, at the Homer City Council meeting, Buccaneer officials talked about their operations. (See related story page 8).
Buccaneer has plans to drill for gas or oil off East End Road before the end of September. The president of Buccaneer Alaska, Jim Watt, said the West Eagle unit is located well away from residents, and he is not aware of a single home nearby.
That project is entirely separate from the jackup rig’s work in Cook Inlet.
“We’ll be mobilizing out of Homer and drill our first well by the end of October. Then, we will move the rig back south again toward the Cosmopolitan Field (off Anchor Point.) We have both gas and oil objectives,” Watt said.
Buccaneer is continuing to hire workers for Cook Inlet. Archer Drilling will operate the rig for Buccaneer. “This is only the beginning and it doesn’t stop here,” Watt said.
Residents along Cook Inlet are accustomed to seeing oil or gas drilling rigs mounted on platforms that are stationary. A jackup rig is moveable. The Endeavor can go into water depths of 300 feet and drill thousands of feet into the substrata.
“The main purpose of the jackup rig is to create a stable platform for the exploratory work, and then move it,” said Richard Loomis, a spokesman for Buccaneer. “Later, they can put in a platform to produce a well.”
The Endeavour is about two and half times the size of the Spartan 150 jackup rig being worked by Escopeda Oil and Gas.
“We view our wells as appraisal rather than purely exploratory. The legs jackup or down to land on the sea beds. The deepest water that is known is around 300 feet. It is capable of operating in that depth,” Watt said. “The Endeavour was selected and built for Arctic conditions. It has a deck that you can move over existing platforms to drill. It can drill standalone wells and is very versatile.”
As for the West Eagle operations, that one is located directly east of the Armstrong Gas wells off North Fork Road.
“We’ll be drilling 18 miles east of Armstrong. It’s a deserted area, on an old gravel pit. No one lives in the immediate area. We want to start by the end of September,” Watt said. “It all depends on how it goes at the Kenai Loop.”
The plan is to tie in with Armstrong’s segment of pipe to get gas to markets, or to tie in with Homer’s gas pipeline when built.
Contact the writer
Posted by Newsroom
on Aug 29th, 2012 and filed under Headline News
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0
Both comments and pings are currently closed.