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Vol. 15, No. 46 Week of November 14, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

The Explorers 2010: Buccaneer Alaska

Buccaneer Alaska clearly aligns itself with the school of thought that believes the Cook Inlet basin is underexplored. The Australian independent arrived in Alaska in March 2010, buying up leases from fellow independent Stellar Oil and Gas. Over the spring and summer, Buccaneer grew its land position in lease sales and private deals, and now the company is listed as having nearly, 75,197 acres of onshore and offshore state leases.

Buccaneer aims to do something with that land, and soon. In August, the company applied to form two offshore units. The company is also progressing three other prospects on its onshore lease holdings. Buccaneer is steadily moving forward on all five prospects, saying it will spend 2010 acquiring seismic and permitting wells, in preparation for drilling no later than 2012 and developing as early as 2015. If the company can get an offshore program together fast enough, it could be eligible for new tax credits available to the first three companies to use a jack-up rig in Cook Inlet.

Current exploration focus:

Cook Inlet: Buccaneer is progressing five prospects.

The proposed Southern Cross Unit, formerly known as North Middle Ground Shoal, would include five leases over some 10,109 offshore acres west of the Kitchen Lights unit. Buccaneer plans to drill to an exploration target in the Jurassic, and delineate natural gas and oil in the Tyonek and oil in the Hemlock formations. Activities are underway to complete an initial well in 2011. The proposed Northwest Cook Inlet Unit would cover six leases over some 10,008 offshore acres contiguous to ConocoPhillips’ North Cook Inlet unit. Buccaneer plans to target natural gas in the Beluga sands with an initial well drilled by 2012. The onshore West Eagle prospect in the southern Kenai Peninsula, east of Nikolaevsk, could benefit from new natural gas transportation infrastructure going into the region. Buccaneer plans to permit a well for late 2011 that could lead to a 12-well development program. The onshore West Nicolai Creek prospect could tie back to the nearby Nicolai Creek unit. Buccaneer plans to permit a well for 2011 that could lead to a four-well program.

Finally, if Buccaneer successfully leases Alaska Mental Health Trust and Cook Inlet Region Inc. land northeast of Kenai, it plans to drill an onshore well there in late this year or early 2011.



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