KENAI — Buccaneer Energy has started drilling its first Cosmopolitan Prospect well with the Endeavour-Spirit of Independence jack-up rig, which arrived nine months ago from Singapore.
The company began drilling near Anchor Point on Sunday, the Peninsula Clarion reported. The area off the Kenai Peninsula is known for its shallow gas reserves and deeper oil prospects.
Buccaneer says it plans to drill the rig to a depth of 8,000 feet. Oil core samples will be taken to better understand the reservoir and shape a plan for future oil development. The company does not plan to flow test the oil formation, but it says gas zones that are identified will be tested.
“On completion of drilling and logging operations, the well will be plugged back to the bottom of the Tyonek gas formation,” the company said in a prepared statement. “Gas zones within the Tyonek formation that are identified as potentially commercial through drilling and logging will then be perforated and flow tested.
“If successfully tested, the well will be temporary abandoned as a future gas producer,” the statement said.
The rig was initially meant to stay in Homer for a few days when it arrived last August.
However, it wound up staying 218 days because of delays and repairs, causing its harbor fees to go to about $500,000. Buccaneer and its former operator, Archer Drilling, have since sued each other over delays.
Spartan Drilling has taken over as the new operator for the Endeavour.
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission crews will monitor the rig as it begins drilling, said commission chairwoman Cathy Foerster. That’s a normal practice any new drilling rigs.
“We just want to make sure things are running the way they are supposed to run,” she said. “A rig that has been out there and has proven itself to be drill-worthy is one thing, but something that has never operated, we just have to make sure it does.”
Buccaneer Energy Ltd., based in Houston, is working with BlueCrest Energy Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas-based company, on the project.
Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com