Excuse me … you didn’t pay for it

By Gordy Vernon

Let’s be straightforward. There’s no way Buccaneer can pay for a spill, a leak, or even the stream of debts they have already rung up. 
Here’s a snapshot of the company:
An Australian firm, established six years ago, that has never drilled a producing well till they hit 5.1 mcfpd in the Walmart parking lot in Kenai last May (Kenai Loop 1). Their corporate brass can’t even make it from Anchorage to Homer in a late summer storm. Cook Inlet with 40-foot tides, 20-foot seas and mile-long ice floes moving at eight knots presents a lot tougher challenge than drilling in a Kenai lot or getting to Homer.
Buccaneer Energy is a corporation that sells between a nickel and a dime a share.  This is the flagship — not one of the many corporations they’ve put up to shield it from liability (Buccaneer Alaska, Kenai Offshore Ventures). Most of its money comes from Singapore bankers, as well as every man woman and child in Alaska, who have paid more than $100 into the Buccaneer scheme (by AIDEA’s claims). 
If you were to buy up every last nickel of stock, the State has paid more money for the rig alone than the markets deem Buccaneer Energy’s total value to be worth. To think Buccaneer can clean up an oil spill when its market value is $60 million is ludicrous, as $60 million would buy you a half-day of clean-up on the Gulf Coast. Exxon makes $60 million profit in a half-day, and as Exxon exemplified, you can’t really clean up a spill. When the Spit gets greased with goo, the Singapore bankers’ reputation at the golf club won’t even be slick.
Who cares about local hire? Buccaneer doesn’t even pay for work done. On its one producing well in Kenai, it owed NANA Construction $5.1 million and had paid less than 10 percent of what it owed when NANA slapped a lien on Buccaneer and threatened legal action.  Because the City of Kenai had leased the land, the city got involved, fearing a mechanic’s lien, putting Buccaneer on a month-to-month arrangement.  The driller of the well, Inlet Drilling, was owed more than a million dollars for nine months and said they would never work for them again. 
Conam Construction was paid nearly a year after their work was complete, when Buccaneer finally secured a loan. At the city council meeting in Kenai, one company representative said, “You could probably fill half this room with people they owe money to.”
To put it bluntly, this arrangement is stupid; corporate socialism at its worst. We have corporations from the other side of the planet, with  no track record, that seem to be surviving mostly on state loans, screwing your neighbors that work for them and dragging the next town up the road into business quarrels and lawsuits.  They can’t make it through a little weather to attend an “open house” that they scheduled, and they’re talking about going out and drilling in a raging Inlet in the winter? 
I would like Homer City Council to ask, “If things go wrong, how are you going to pay for it?  And if things go right, are you going to pay for it?”
For the rest of us, it’s time we stop coming to the table, cap in hand, saying, “Give us jobs. Give us fracked gas” that we’ll pay $3,300/lot for.  
It’s time to tell Buccaneer, “You do this right or we’ll have you swinging from your petard on the flagpole of the country club in Singapore.”

Gordy Vernon is a Homer resident.

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Posted by on Oct 17th, 2012 and filed under Point of View. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses for “Excuse me … you didn’t pay for it”

  1. Concerned Sourdough says:

    Perhaps the Beluga Whales are already suffering from the Buccanneer “legs down” in our Kachemak Bay Hamlet. Maybe the Whales are dying from the Fukushima drift … but whatever is killing them, 99.99% it’s human kind related. What else in our precious ocean is dying? Beluga Whales are obviously fighting for their lives. I wouldn’t be surprised if they find its belly full of plastic.

  2. jolene says:

    Thank you for writing this!

    This needs to be emphasized ” time we stop coming to the table, cap in hand, saying, “Give us jobs. Give us fracked gas” that we’ll pay $3,300/lot for. ”

    Some things are more important that immediate gratification. Isn’t this what we teach our children? This is the last frontier, and this company cares only of profit and clearly has no scruples.

    Homer Citizens READ THIS again! DO NOT WORK FOR BUCCANEER!!

    “Buccaneer doesn’t even pay for work done. On its one producing well in Kenai, it owed NANA Construction $5.1 million and had paid less than 10 percent of what it owed when NANA slapped a lien on Buccaneer and threatened legal action.

    The driller of the well, Inlet Drilling, was owed more than a million dollars for nine months and said they would never work for them again.

    Conam Construction was paid nearly a year after their work was complete.

    You could probably fill half this room with people they owe money to.”

  3. jolene says:

    Two meetings coming up:

    Buccaneer Alaska is calling two public meetings next week, Wednesday and Thursday evening, to impart information on their gas drilling plans on leases off East End Road and in Cook Inlet.
    The first meeting will be at 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bidarka Inn. The second meeting will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the McNeil Canyon School Gym.

  4. deb says:

    Jolene get a grip… if they didnt pay their workers why are they still working for them.. We dont need this kind of hysteria… really people listen to the facts not the trust fund babies beating their chests… then sneaking home to their heated homes in their suburus with obama forever bumper stickers… we need to pay attention, do your research… say YES TO NATURAL GAS and no to the hippie wanta be trust fund babies who can afford to do anything they want as they play green child of the earth…. yes go to the meetings but please behave in a civil manner… it is embarrasing to have you granola chrunchers laying out the rules like somehow you are in charge … silent majority needs to rise up and shut down the noise of those who dont want us to be able to afford to heat our homes… and take a job to feed our families… really … that is ridiculous…

    • jolene says:

      Why did the workers have to take them to court and accept less than what was owed?

      You seem a little reactive, with all that name calling, you might want to step back and look at the facts. Recent reports show US is #2 in oil production, up for four years straight, oil companies making huge profits, conoco phillips gets 1/3 of their profits from Alaska alone. The oil companies now have so much money, they are running ads 24/7 saying production is down? Why would they do that? Because they are lying in attempt to get votes for a legislature that will hand them even more tax breaks.

      Now here they come with the natural gas. They have been drilling everywhere, finding all kinds of natural gas, we are not running out anytime soon. But all of a sudden ‘we’re running out’ and we have to let them drill wherever they want, we’re just so desperate.

      This company has admitted they will only hire people with 5 years experience so they will be importing workers.

      That is a fact. This will not create jobs for Alaskans.

      They have been caught lying to everyone. Doesn’t that give reason for at least a bit of critical reasoning?

      Now, one more thing, if it were your well that would be ruined would you care?

      Treat others how you want to be treated.

  5. concerned sourdough says:

    No need to call names here, Missy, unless it’s your job that’s keeping the iron feet in the water of the critical habitat, then I reckon, you would do just about anything to feed your family, the best of the best, (in a world that’s depleting its resources faster than most humans can keep up with) … you probably don’t want anyone to know what your take home pay is, huh? Compare that to those poor “trust fund babies” who are willing to eat beans over steak just to live here and appreciate what’s left of America the beautiful. You’ll leave when the rig leaves, right? BTW, what does the Buccaneer have to do with Natural Gas, anyway? Is that how Homer is going to get the NG?

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