It took three tries, but at 8:30 a.m. Friday, the Endeavour-Spirit Independence jack-up rig left the Homer Deep Water Dock. Towed by two Titan tugs, with a third on stand by, within an hour the Endeavour had rounded the Homer Spit and was heading up Kachemak Bay toward the Cosmopolitan oil and gas lease site off Anchor Point.
The Endeavour had scheduled departure times on Tuesday and Thursday, but canceled both because of bad weather. This morning, with sunshine and flat calm waters, conditions were perfect to leave.
Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins watched the Endeavour pull away from the Homer Deep Water dock.
“We have a change in scenery,” he said.
The Endeavour arrived in Homer on Aug. 24, 2012, and had spent 218 days at the Deep Water Dock — and $500,000 in harbor fees, according to Hawkins. Owned by a consortium of Buccaneer Alaska, the managing partner, Ezion Holdings and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, Buccaneer had intended for the Endeavour to be in Homer only a few days for work after its voyage last fall from Singapore. The troubled jack-up rig wound up staying in Homer through the winter as Kenai Offshore Ventures, the drilling firm, and its contractor Archer Drilling made repairs and upgrades. Buccaneer and Archer eventually parted ways. Archer filed a $6.5 million lawsuit against Buccaneer seeking payment for what it said were past-due bills for services and expenses. Buccaneer filed a counterclaim seeking $30 million in damages for lost revenues and other expenses. Spartan Drilling took over operation of the rig.
Buccaneer is still waiting for approval from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for its Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency plan. Earlier in March, DEC had sent Buccaneer a request for additional information on that plan.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.