Independents Outline Bright Cook Inlet Future

Officials with Buccaneer, Cook Inlet Energy, and Hilcorp made presentations today on various Cook Inlet Energy projects.

Jim Watt, President and COO of Buccaneer Alaska made his presentation to the 2013 Industry Outlook Forum at the Lands End Resort in Homer, in the shadow of the Australian-based independent’s Endeavor jack up rig in the Homer deep water port. Watt said the company is still on track to drill its first well with the jack up rig in March of this year in the Northwest Cook Inlet unit near Tyonek. Watt said the company is still working on Cost Guard and AOGCC certification for the rig. Watt said the offshore program is a multi-year focus for Buccaneer with natural gas being the short term priority, with the potential for deep oil well development to follow.

Watt also discussed onshore gas development with the company and their development of their Kenai Loop #4 well, which he expects to see in production within the year. Watt also said the company is looking forward to seeing 3 to 4 more wells drilled in the Kenai Loop field within the coming year.

J.R. Wilcox, co-founder and President of Cook Inlet Energy outlined the company’s work with the Osprey platform in the West Forelands of the Cook Inlet, as well as their West McArthur River field. Wilcox said that the company has recently completed their first gas well with the Osprey platform. Wilcox also discussed the company’s work on a feasibility study for building a pipeline across the Cook Inlet from their Osprey platform to the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski, which they hope to see building beginning next year. Wilcox said he believes that independent oil and gas companies will play a major role in the future of resource development statewide, Wilcox closed with a baseball analogy, saying that historically, Alaska has done a great job hitting home runs with development, now it’s time to focus on hitting singles.

John Barnes president of Hilcorp Alaska spoke to the forum, after the announcement that the $375 million purchase of Marathon’s Cook Inlet assets had finalized Thursday, the 31st of January, and assumed operation thereof as of midnight today. Barnes said that in 2012, Hilcorp invested $220 million in the state, with 52% of those funds spent on executing new projects. Barnes outlined the company’s work on reopen the drift river terminal, as well as increasing oil production at the Happy Valley, Swanson River, McArthur River, Trading Bay, and Granite Point fields. Barnes said that the company is planning to purchase two new drilling rigs in the coming year, additional offshore pulling units, as well as, developing additional onshore gas developments.

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