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Buccaneer leads the independent Oil and Gas companies......again.

When natural gas was 10 dollars, Curtis Burton, CEO of Buccaneer led the charge back into the Pompano field, a forgotten gem just outside of Galveston in 50 feet of water.  Leading is not new for Curtis, he helped the industry get into the deep water by founding Deepstar in 1990.  Recently we have seen just how difficult it is to operate out there with the sinking of the TransOcean rig.   With the advent of Sarbanes, Curtis led the team to Australia and took Buccaneer public on the ASX.  Now with Oil up to $80+ he is leading the charge back into Alaska, an area previously dominated by the majors.

In her recent editorial "Jack-ups headed north", Kay Cashman talks about the newest rebates from the Alaskan Government and who might take advantage of them. Namely Apache and Conocophilips. Conoco is already in the inlet but 25 million toward a drilling program is nothing to ignore.

"two unreported pieces of news emerged: ConocoPhillips has decided to use a jack-up for its Chukchi drilling and Apache Corp. is considering entering Cook Inlet as a new operator." She goes on to comment, "The Houston-based independent is on a big acquisition binge, and although Apaches director of public affairs, Bill Mintz, would not confirm what Petroleum News sources say is a strong interest in buying up oil and gas acreage in Cook Inlet"

So it seems that Buccaneer may have scooped Apache by buying the Steller assets and if the larger independent does not move quickly they will be buying from Buccaneer.

Esoopeta is listed as being at the top of the list for the Jack up, and their assets are very close to Buccaneers.

"For several years, and continuing to today, Houston-based independent Escopeta Oil, under Danny Davis, its president, has been championing the cause of using a jack-up rig to drill exploration wells in Cook Inlet. Escopeta has particularly focused on the Kitchen prospect, where it holds state leases. Davis thinks that there might be 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of oil in the prospect."

According to the article Escopeta has to have a rig up there by middle of June. This means that Buccaneer might have access to it first part of 2011.

With onshore assets to drill this year, a rig coming to the inlet for offshore work, and a big independent like Apache coming to Cook Inlet, this looks like a very good decision.

Disclosure: long bcc