(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Buccaneer Energy (ASX: BCC) is now planning to drill its Cosmopolitan Project wells in the southern part of the Cook Inlet, Alaska, as the first job for the Endeavour jack-up rig rather than the North West Cook Inlet wells as originally planned.
This is due to delays in the rig complying with the permitting requirements needed to operate in the Cook Inlet.
These include a recall on the fast rescue craft due to undetected manufacturing deficiencies, necessitating its replacement with a factory provided upgrade; the replacement of the old general alarm system, which failed on arrival in Homer; and the installation of a replacement valve and fire suppressant refill for the fire fighting system.
While Buccaneer was originally required to drill a well at its Southern Cross Unit and North West Cook Inlet by 30 September, it has received a written decision from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources extending the deadline to 31 October 2013.
Cosmopolitan is located in 50 feet of water, in close proximity to the shoreline of the Kenai Peninsula with potential for shallow gas and deeper oil development.
The Endeavour will drill a well to quantify both the oil and gas zones and will in future be used to drill wells for the shallow gas development.
Oil will be drilled from the shoreline using directionally drilled wells.
North West Cook Inlet
Drilling at North West Cook Inlet is now expected to start in April 2013.
The North West Cook Inlet project is adjacent to and within the same geological structure as ConocoPhillips' producing North Cook Inlet project which has produced 1.85 trillion cubic feet of gas (308 million barrels of oil equivalent) to date.
Netherland, Sewell & Associates has estimated that the North West Cook Inlet project could hold resources of about 45.9 million barrels of oil equivalent.
The Endeavour is owned by Kenai Offshore Ventures, a joint venture between Buccaneer and Singapore-listed Ezion Holdings.
First constructed in 1982, the Marathon LeTourneau 116-C class jack-up rig was modified and repaired at Singapore's Keppel Fels shipyard.