Buccaneer Energy has taken steps toward moving its Endeavor jack-up rig out of the Homer harbor, where it’s been anchored since arriving in Alaska in August. The company has secured some of the state permits it needs to send the rig to the Cosmopolitan Unit near Anchor Point but City of Homer officials are eyeing a March 1st deadline for the Endeavor’s departure.
Buccaneer Energy spokesperson Jay Morakis told Tim Bradner of the Alaska Journal of Commerce that the company is continuing work on the rig, in preparation for inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping.
A transition of drilling contractors has complicated things as well, and the delay in the work and the required approvals has prevented the rig being moved to its first exploration target – the Cosmopolitan Unit offshore from Anchor Point.
Spartan Drilling Company is the new rig operations contractor. It now has personnel on the Endeavour and is taking over operations from Archer Drilling. Buccaneer and Archer are in a legal dispute, with Archer claiming it hasn’t been paid for work and Buccaneer claiming Archer did not do work on the rig it was supposed to do.
Homer Harbor master Bryan Hawkins gave an update on the situation to the Homer City Council at its meeting January 14th.
"The new company is getting in place and (starting) new operations," Hawkins said. "There's no departure date in sight."
Homer City Manager Walt Wrede said the city stands to make a large sum of money in property taxes from the parked Endeavor rig but that is not yet a done deal.
"The state has to make a determination that .... it's taxable property and then the state has to put a value ion it," he said.
Wrede says that money should come in around October of this year. He says the city has asked Buccaneer to move the Endeavor out of the harbor by March 1st, a date when construction is set to begin on a fender replacement project at the Deepwater Dock.
Buccaneer now has state permits in hand to move to the Cosmo Unit and put the Endeavor’s legs down.