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Independents should drill ON shore Alaska, Donkel Oil and Gas and Buccaneer Energy

|Includes: ConocoPhillips (COP), CVX, MRO
"The Anchorage Daily News reports Southcentral Alaska utilities will have to begin importing gas within a few years unless they can secure new in-state supplies for heating fuel and electricity. The law allows drilling companies to shave tens of millions of dollars off their taxes."

The State of Alaska is trying to get companies to drill for natural gas in the Cook Inlet, on the Southern side of the state.  Up on the North Shore the "majors" are all waiting for the Obama administration to allow drilling in the deeper federal waters, and they do not seem interested in drilling in the well worked Cook Inlet.

The major players in the Alaskan oil patch are Marathon, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell and they don't seem very interested in investing in Alaska.  In fact the last state lease sale on the North Slope only attracted 3 bidders, they were small and included long time oil man, Dan Donkel.  Donkel has been accumulating leases in Alaska for years and understands how important drilling for resources in the state is.

Recently the ADN published a story about two smaller independents trying to come to Alaska.  Escopeta and Buccaneer Energy are looking to attract a Jack up rig to Alaska.  Escopeta is working with Pride, but they say it is too late in the year to bring a Jack up from the Gulf of Mexico.  Additionally, environmental groups are questioning the practice after watching the blowout that is spilling oil into the inlet as I write this.

So what is the Cook Inlet to do, they are running out of Natural Gas and need to get busy, right now.  Escopeta has been trying to get a rig into the inlet for several years now, Buccaneer only entered the inlet in the last couple of months by buying another explorer, Steller Resources.

While the Inlet commonly refers to the estuary, not all of the projects are off shore.  Looking at you can see that Dan Donkel has some put some impressive acreage together in "on shore" plays that could be drilled today.  His Catchers Mitt project could supply badly needed natural gas to the city of Anchorage and doesn't require a jack up.

Buccaneer Energy hedged their bets when they entered Alaska.  The leases they acquired contain both on-shore and offshore opportunity.  Their West Eagle project is 44,150 acres and holds real promise for the state.

While many are focused on how difficult it is to get a jack up these companies know that you can drill on shore.  There are even stacked rigs waiting to be put back in service.  While the state is offering 20+ million for the first company to deploy a jack up these rigs stand idle and the projects are really impressive.

As Alaskan's we need to get the government focused on drilling the projects that are possible, not wait for the "jack up revisitation" that might get here next year.  Let's get those companies that want to drill, like Buccaneer Energy a real incentive to do it, and do it now.

I would suggest that the Governor redirect some of those millions to attract on-shore drillers.  These are big projects and will make a big impact and don't come with the environmental headaches that off shore drilling might encounter.

Disclosure: BCC

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