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Buccaneer to punch an oil well just 20 miles from Homer

HOMER, Alaska -- Work on the jack-up rig Endeavour-Spirit of Independence, with its three 410-foot legs towering above this town's harbor, isn't Buccaneer Energy's only work on Alaska's southern Kenai Peninsula. The oil and gas company also has drilling planned for an area called West Eagle 20 miles east of Homer.

"Buccaneer has nine leases from the state for West Eagle, but no permits at this point," said Jay Morakis of JMR Worldwide, the public relations firm representing Buccaneer. Earlier this week, Mark Landt of Buccaneer will give a 10-minute presentation about the company's plans at a regular meeting of the Homer City Council.

The leases on around 50,700 acres were assigned to Buccaneer in 2010, according to Kyle Smith with the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas. Buccaneer has 100 percent working interest and 79.25 percent net revenue interest in the leases. The remaining 20.75 percent revenue interest is held by the state of Alaska and various private owners, according to Morakis.

The first exploratory well drilled by the Glacier Drilling Rig will be drilled to initial depth of 10,000 vertical feet. "(The rig) is ideally suited to operations such as West Eagle and is currently in use by Buccaneer at our Kenai Loop project," said Morakis.

With the Kenai project still in operation, Buccaneer was unable to meet a Sept. 30 deadline to begin drilling at West Eagle. However, Buccaneer has submitted a unit application, which, if approved "allows them to hold onto lands for another five years based on a finding that's either a reservoir or a potential hydrocarbon reservoir," said Smith.

Drilling cannot begin until that application is approved, following a public comment period.

A decision on the unit application could come as early as November, said Smith.

A total of two federal permits, six state of Alaska permits, two private agreements and the borough permit are needed for the West Eagle work, said Morakis.

Drilling of the first well is expected to take up to 60 days, with 15 to 20 people at the site each day.

"The drilling pad will include the drilling rig, office building, warm and cold storage areas and maintenance buildings," said Morakis. "The onsite office will contain housing for several personnel including the drilling supervisor and the tool-pusher. All other drilling personnel will be housed offsite in existing facilities available locally."

This story first appeared in the Homer News. McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at

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