U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens announced in Anchorage today that Escopeta Oil has received a Jones Act waiver that will allow the Houston independent to bring a jack-up rig into Cook Inlet.
The Jones Act requires U.S. flagged vessels be used between U.S. ports. Escopeta has to use a foreign-flagged vessel to transport the Songa Offshore Tellus jack-up from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska.
Without the waiver, Escopeta and its partner Centurion Gold Holdings would have had to pay hefty fines.
According to Escopeta President Danny Davis the waiver was issued June 27 by Homeland Security. He said it was granted in the interest of national security.
The Tellus is currently being refurbished in Port Arthur on the Gulf of Mexico.
Escopeta had hoped to transport the jack-up to Alaska this summer, but the company doing the refurbishment needs another four to five months to finish it, Davis said.
“Our plans are to leave for Alaska in December and have the Tellus drilling at our East Kitchen prospect in February or March,” he told Petroleum News today.
ASRC Energy Services has been hired to operate the Tellus. It will oversee Inlet Drilling crews trained for the Tellus by Songa.