Cook Inlet

Australia-based Buccaneer Energy has announced that it will soon deploy the Endeavour jack-up rig to commence drilling operations in the Cook Inlet, offshore of Alaska.

The company said it has received all necessary drilling permits from the Alaskan Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) to proceed with oil and gas exploration work.

Buccaneer believes that the Cook Inlet basin is still one of the most unused hydrocarbon basins in North America, and expects the 410ft rig to fully realise its potential on its deployment.

Buccaneer energy director, Dean Gallegos, said the Endeavour will play a vital role in stimulating Cook Inlet exploration and development.

"With its upgrades and refitting, the Endeavour is now suitable to support exploration and development operations in Arctic waters, such as the Chukchi Sea off the North Slope of Alaska," Gallegos added.

Endeavour, which is capable of drilling to 20,000ft in 18 to 300ft water depths, is now ready for deployment on to the Cook Inlet basin, except for minor works pointed by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

"Buccaneer believes that the Cook Inlet basin is still one of the most unused hydrocarbon basins in North America."

With high grade steel rated for low temperatures such as -10° and heavy legs, allowing for stability in the heavy currents of Alaskan waters, the huge jack-up drill rig is able to lift 60ft to work on offshore platforms.

In August 2012, Buccaneer brought Kenai Offshore-owned Endeavour to the Homer dock and tasked the rig’s project manager, Archer Drilling, with upgrading the rig to undertake drilling operations in the Cook Inlet and surrounding areas of Alaska.

Kenai Offshore is Buccaneer’s joint venture with Singapore-based Ezion Holdings and Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA).

It is believed that Archer Drilling did not complete the maintenance works in time, causing Buccaneer miss a drilling window.

In the capacity of designated Manager of Endeavour, Buccaneer has now terminated its ties with Archer Drilling and is all set to sign a fresh agreement with Spartan Offshore Drilling to become the operator of the rig.

Gallegos also said that the company will work with Spartan to operate the Endeavour on its Cosmopolitan project, the first of Buccaneer’s offshore assets to be drilled.

Image: Alaska’s Cook Inlet basin in North America. Photo courtesy of Chitrapa.