Escopeta Oil hopes to have a jack-up rig headed for Alaska later today, but still needs to overcome a few hurdles before it can begin an exploration campaign in Cook Inlet.
Crews at a shipyard in Freeport, Texas, have loaded the Spartan rig 151 onto the M.V. Kang Sheng Kou, and the heavy lift vessel is scheduled to set sail at noon today.
The ship must sail around the tip of South America on its way to Cook Inlet. Once the rig arrives, it must be outfitted with additional equipment before it can begin drilling.
On March 9, two officials from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission inspected the rig, but said they would need to inspect it again once blowout prevention equipment in installed and tested in Alaska.
“At the time of inspection, Spartan 151 was undergoing modifications for Alaska operations,” Commissioners John Norman and Cathy Foerster wrote to Escopeta President Danny Davis in a March 16 letter. “Key well blowout control equipment was missing from the rig. Commission representatives were advised that the missing equipment would be installed on the drilling unit when it arrives in Alaska. As such, a complete inspection of Spartan 151 was not possible.”
Under an agreement with the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas, Escopeta must have a rig bound for Alaska by March 30 and must start drilling its first well by Oct. 31.
See story in March 20 issue, available online by 11 a.m. on Friday, March 18, at www.PetroleumNews.com