Buccaneer Files Countersuit Against Archer Drilling
Buccaneer Energy Alaska has filed litigation countering a lawsuit brought by a subcontractor in December concerning work on the jack-up rig Endeavour.
In court documents filed Tuesday in a Texas District Court, Buccaneer contends that Archer Drilling and Rig Inspection Services, the company charged with making final repairs to the rig before it was scheduled to begin drilling last fall, committed misconduct when it signed off on what Buccaneer calls a short list of tasks necessary to be completed before certification and then produced a ten page list of line items that would have to be resolved after the rig arrived in Alaska last August.
The 30-year-old Endeavour has been docked in Homer Harbor ever since, widely missing its target initial drilling date of September 2012, and racking up substantial fees from the City of Homer to rent out deep water dock space, some $40,000 per month.
The countersuit says the owner group of the Endeavour, including Buccaneer and a limited liability corporation known as Kenai Offshore Ventures, or KOV, has lost more than $30 million in revenues since September 15th of last year, when the Endeavour was originally scheduled to begin work in Cook Inlet.
The countersuit comes after a December filing by Archer in Texas court seeking $6 million in damages. In December, more than 70 workers on the Endeavour walked off the job, saying they hadn’t been paid in weeks. Archer claimed then that the Endeavour needed more work before it was transported from Singapore to Homer in 2012 and that Buccaneer’s plans were “matched neither by the funding they provided or the realities of the rig’s condition”.
The City of Homer has set a deadline of March 20th for Buccaneer to get the Endeavour out of the Harbor, so a new fender can be installed in the Deep Water Dock. The Endeavour has received permitting approval from the American Bureau of Shipping to get to work offshore of Anchor Point, but still needs clearance from the US Coast Guard. Before that can happen, though, the Coast Guard needs to look at technical drawings and other inspection certifications. Currently, Archer holds those documents.