The city of Homer is expecting a drill rig with the exploration company Furie to pull into the port Saturday. The city will host the rig after another company that parked a jackup rig in Homer went bankrupt and demanded contractors that serviced the rig pay them back.
The Randolph Yost jackup rig is scheduled to be carried into Kachemak Bay by a heavy lift ship on Saturday. The rig is being contracted by Furie Operating Alaska. Homer Port and Harbor Director Bryan Hawkins says the company is going to send the Yost to a new production platform in the Upper Cook Inlet.
“Production platforms, they don’t…they can’t drill for new wells there. They have to bring a jack-up rig alongside and drill down through the production platform so they can bring new wells in,” explained Hawkins.
But first, Hawkins says, the Yost is docking in Homer for between 30 and 60 days. Hawkins says the city will earn about $1,000 per day in dockage fees and they’ll also be able to sell Furie water.
“That’s about the extent of the revenues. But then of course…the spinoff economics that circulate through town when you have an operation like this getting ready for their work season up the inlet. So, there’ll be a lot of work being done on the rig,” said Hawkins.
In 2012, the Endeavour Spirt of Independence, a jackup rig contracted by Buccaneer Energy, docked in Homer. Buccaneer used the port for the same purpose as Furie: to prep their rig before it was sent out to drill.
Earlier this year, Hawkins told KBBI the city collected about $577,000 in revenue during the seven months the Endeavor was tied up at the dock. But, Buccaneer went bankrupt. Last summer, the trustee in charge of the company’s estate demanded the city of Homer and Homer business repay money they earned serving Buccaneer.
The city of Homer paid back $8,730. Some businesses paid as well, others proved they didn’t have to and some are still challenging the demand in court.
Hawkins says there’s never a guarantee with any company that comes to the port.
“There’s a potential for a business relationship where they get in the rears or unforeseen financial problems, but you treat everybody the same,” said Hawkins.
He adds that the port and harbor has a good track record when it comes to collecting money the city is due.
Smaller contractors say the incident with Buccaneer made them more wary of working with exploration companies when they’re in town.