AD Main Menu

When will jack-up rig leave, angry Homer residents wonder?

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

An overflow crowd of Homer residents turned a meeting with Buccaneer Energy contentious on Tuesday night, unhappy that the company’s jack-up rig Endeavor still sits near the Homer Spit, where it dominates the skyline.

Aaron Selbig of KBBI reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network that the question of whether Buccaneer had the permits it needed to drill in what’s known as the Cosmopolitan Unit near Anchor Point north of Homer is a matter of debate. The meeting took pace at the Best Western Bidarka Inn.

Graham Wood, a manager with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said a letter of denial for drilling at Cosmopolitan was sent to Buccaneer on Oct. 19.  Now, he added, the process of obtaining state permission will take up to three months, he added.

That leaves the city of Homer contemplating what to do next. The Endeavor arrived at the Homer harbor Aug. 24 -- supposedly for eight days. A series of delays followed as upgrades and repairs were made to the rig. A mid-September windstorm forced Buccaneer to put the rig’s legs down. Some residents argue that the rig’s mere presence violates the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area plan.

On Oct. 22 at a city council meeting, Homer City Manager Walt Wrede noted that the U.S. Coast Guard has not authorized Buccaneer to move the Endeavor. Get ready, he warned residents, for the Endeavor to be parked in Homer all winter.  

Read more about the Endeavor's arrival here, which includes some history of oil and gas development in Kachemak Bay and a side show of images.