July 27, 2012 --- Vol. 18, No. 51July 2012

Shell CEO says company planning on two Alaska wells this year

In an analyst webcast for Shell’s second quarter results, Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said yesterday the company now plans on completing two exploration wells in Alaska this year. The company had planned to drill up to three wells in the Chukchi Sea and up to two wells in the Beaufort Sea, but exceptionally large amounts of sea ice in the Chukchi are delaying the start of the drilling. Shell also needs Coast Guard certification of its oil containment barge before drilling can commence. And the company asked the Environmental Protection Agency for some changes to the air quality permits for its drilling vessels.

Voser said that this year, as well as completing two wells, there is potential for drilling top-hole sections at other locations.

Also during the webcast Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said that the company expects “around $1 billion of spending on Alaska this year.”

—Alan Bailey

Buccaneer says Cosmo sale could close by mid-August

Buccaneer Energy Ltd. expects to close on its acquisition of the Cosmopolitan prospect by mid-August, should its majority partner secure financing for its share of the deal.

The Australian independent and a privately owned firm out of Fort Worth, Texas called BlueCrest Energy II, LP announced plans in February to buy the Cook Inlet oil and gas field from Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska Inc. But BlueCrest has since requested and received two extensions to close the deal, according to a recent Buccaneer statement.

The most recent extension gives the companies until Aug. 14 to close the deal.

Under the proposal, BlueCrest would acquire a 75 percent working interest in the two leases off the coast of Anchor Point in the southern Kenai Peninsula. Buccaneer would acquire the remaining 25 percent interest and would also operate the prospect.

The companies have not disclosed the value of the deal.

Buccaneer recently secured financing for its share of the deal and announced plans to use the Endeavour jack-up rig to begin exploring the prospect as soon as early November.

Buccaneer also said it has been “working with third parties who have expressed an interest in the Cosmo transaction and who have substantial financial capabilities." The parties have “confirmed that they would like to proceed and fund the acquisition of the remaining 75 percent working interest if BlueCrest is unable to proceed to settlement.”

—Eric Lidji

See full story in August 5 issue, available online at 11 a.m. Friday, August 3, at

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