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Council: Homer harbor open for business

Posted: December 18, 2013 - 5:27pm

The Homer City Council earlier this month unanimously passed a resolution expressing and formalizing the city’s position and policy that “oil and gas drilling rigs and support vessels operated by Buccaneer Energy or other companies are welcome and encouraged to use the city of Homer port and harbor facilities.”

An economic impact analysis of Buccaneer’s impact on the Kenai Peninsula was included in the council’s packet for the Dec. 9 meeting. The analysis was requested by the council to assess the benefit of the time the jack-up rig spent at the Homer harbor for repairs during 2012-2013. 

The analysis, prepared by Northern Economics, indicated that Buccaneer’s direct spending within the Kenai Peninsula Borough totaled $3.8 million for shipyard work and operations and property tax.

The shipyard work and operations included $577,000 spent on port fees for dockage, moorage and water, as well as stevedoring and assorted services. The $454,730 property tax includes $181,087 for the borough, $181,087 for the city of Homer and $92,556 for South Peninsula Hospital.

The report also indicated Buccaneer generated 50 jobs, $1.8 million in labor and $4.8 million in total output within the borough.

The council approved Resolution 13-118 without objection as part of the Dec. 9 consent agenda.

“I want you to realize that welcoming them in is going to put a new burden on the harbormaster and Kachemak Bay, which is a critical habitat area and deserves a little protection,” said Homer resident Robert Archibald during public comments. “I hope you would look at this invitation with a little light, that you’re going to have to step up about how you’re going to have to demand performance from these people.”

During her closing comments, Mayor Wythe responded to Archibald.

“We have to be able to say having a jack-up rig at this community is not the end of the world,” said Wythe. 

“They spent a ton of money in this community last year. We need to be looking at fiscal responsibility. We are a community. We have a port and harbor for the purpose of sustaining itself, contributing. We have to not shirk every single opportunity that will generate commerce in this community. If we’re going to be open for business, we need to be open for business with assets that can grow this community,” she said

Also at the Dec. 9 meeting, Buccaneer spokesperson Christina Anderson provided a brief update on the company’s West Eagle project and spoke in support of Resolution 13-118. 

With regard to West Eagle, a gas exploration project 21 miles east of Homer, Anderson said Buccaneer had worked with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to improve road conditions at mile 15 and 16 of East End Road in preparation for moving the Glacier, a drilling rig, from Kenai to the site. The road work had been done earlier this year, but had to be redone after fall flooding.

Buccaneer’s plans originally called for the drilling and well tests to be completed by October, the well plugged and abandoned or activity at the well suspended, and coordination with DOT&PF for returning the drill rig to Kenai. Plans also included set-up of temporary office and construction buildings at the West Eagle pad in August. 

According to Richard Loomis, with Buccaneer Energy’s communications and public affairs office in Texas, the drilling pad has been made and fenced in, and a water well has been drilled.

Permits needed for the West Eagle project include:

• A plan of operations, issued by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources;

• Temporary water use permits, issued by DNR;

• A minor general air permit, issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation;

• Authorization for temporary storage of drilling waste, issued by ADEC;

• A land use permit issued by the Kenai Peninsula Borough; and

• A permit to drill, issued by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.


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LJ 12/18/13 - 08:45 pm
Say No to Oil and Gas

At least they admit- Buccaneer brought in extra money which they refuse to share for community wants and needs. With all this extra cash, they still want a winter food tax.

$ 577,000 spent on port fees
$181,087 for the city of Homer property tax

Did they use extra $$ this for community center or rec?

No they wasted money going to court so they don't have to groom Beluga lake for ice skating anymore.

We do not live in Homer to make money on oil and gas.

We will not sacrifice our fishing/tourist community so this city council can sell out to oil and gas, stash away money and waste our resources for their own wants and needs.

Why does Buccaneer have rights over Alaskans?

They want to take our water
"Temporary water use permits, issued by DNR;

Poison our air

• A minor general air permit, issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation;

pollute our waterways and poison our fish

• Authorization for temporary storage of drilling waste, issued by ADEC;

Communities close to fracking sites could be at risk for contacting cancer, birth defects, and infertility due to exposure to dangerous fracking chemicals. The study found that ground and surface water contaminated by these chemicals has hormone disrupting substances. These are Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, commonly known as EDCs, and they can interfere with the optimal performance of the endocrine system.

This is unacceptable.

Doesn't anyone remember the community of Homer, the cosmic Hamlet cherished by Bro...where we fought against oil and gas. What happened? Why are we allowing them to invade this area?

This is unacceptable.

Herbert 12/19/13 - 10:11 am
Say no to gas?

The city and residents are thrilled that they now have a natural gas line. Where do you think natural gas comes from?
A. It falls from the sky

B. From natural gas wells that are drilled by nat gas companies

The city now benefits both from the natural gas line and from revenues related to production.

LJ 12/20/13 - 05:36 am
Buccaneer is lying to investors

"mile 15 and 16 of East End Road in preparation for moving the Glacier, a drilling rig, from Kenai to the site. The road work had been done earlier this year, but had to be redone after fall flooding."

This is a lie!

This work was not done and then redone. There was no fall flooding that stalled their work.

They are lying to higher ups and to investors just like they are lying to our community.

They are being sued by Archer for not paying workers last year....has that been cleared up?
It's not 'creating jobs' when the workers aren't paid.

We don't have to blindly believe greedy companies, we don't have to make the same mistakes as other states have made.

Buccaneer borrows money to pay others, taking free money from the state The company that they farmed out west eagle to just backed out on funding them because they are corrupt liars.

Top management at Buccaneer has been replaced, they are broke, they have been lying and cheating everyone....but the one thing they have going is the Homer City Council willing to believe anything in the hopes Buccaneer will give them money they can stash away for their pet projects.

LJ 12/20/13 - 05:46 am
Herbert-they are safe places to drill and safe ways to do it

It is not safe to drill for gas here as fracking causes dangerous chemicals to enter the watershed.

It is safe on the north slope where there is permafrost.

Ask yourselves, why did Dick Cheney make it so frackers do not have to disclose what is in their fracking fluid?

Ever wonder what's in Fracking Fluid?

Even the people drilling the Wells wonder. In fact, they really don't know exactly, that's why it's a secret formula that they won't divulge.

This past Weekend, I had the chance to talk with an Engineer that works in the Petroleum Industry. We got on the subject of Fracking and why the Oil Companies won't divulge the formula." It's Refinery Waste" he told me. The nasty leftovers from refining Crude Oil into Gasoline and other useful products. It's the dregs that are too toxic, expensive to process or burn off that need to be disposed of somewhere. Those Gas Wells are not much more than sites for disposal. One of these Days, those toxins are going to migrate into the Water Table and poison a lot of people. Big Oil doesn't care, They paid off the Politicians who then passed Laws that grant them Immunity with no requirements for disclosure.

And Herbert, show me the money? The city council forced us to pay for this gas line, where is the savings? After all the money from Buccaneer, saving money on natural gas...they are still complaining about not having enough money and wanting to tax our food.

LJ 12/20/13 - 06:06 am
We need the truth here

This article makes it seem that Buccaneer has not moved the drilling rig yet and is still in preparation stages due to flooding and having to redo the road (which is a lie, I drive down east end road and they did not fix it, have it flooded out and fix it again. That was a blatant lie)

Buccaneer is telling investors that the rig is on site and drilling a well.

"The Glacier Rig is on site at the West Eagle Unit. The Company will provide a further update when the well spuds.

Under the terms of the Unit Agreement with the Alaskan Department of Natural Resources ("DNR") the Company was required to spud the West Eagle #1 well before 1 December 2013 to retain a US$600,000 bond. Additionally, it is required to complete the West Eagle #1 well to approximately 5,200' by 31 January 2014 in order to retain a second US$600,000 bond and the acreage within the approved unit."

The reason they are lying is

a) Their investors blindly believe their press releases so stock prices go up

b) They failed to drill in time but they plan to lie to the state blaming the situation on flooding so they can get their bond money back.

Herbert 12/20/13 - 08:05 am
Cracking fluid

Modern day franking fluid

98 percent water
2 percent FDA approved food ingredients

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