Escopeta Gets Jones Act Waiver

U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, recently announced that Escopeta Oil has received a Jones Act waiver that will allow the Houston-based independent to bring a jack-up rig into Cook Inlet, according to Centurion Gold Holdings, Inc., Escopeta’s partner.

The Jones Act requires that U.S.-flagged vessels be used between U.S. ports. Escopeta has to use a foreign-flagged vessel to transport the Songa Offshore Tellus jack-up from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska. Without the waiver, Escopeta and its partner Centurion Gold Holdings would have to pay hefty fines.

According to Escopeta President Danny Davis, the waiver was issued June 27 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said it was granted in the interest of national security.

The Tellus is currently being refurbished in Port Arthur, Texas. Escopeta had hoped to transport the jack-up to Alaska this summer, but the company doing the refurbishment needs another 4 to 5 months to finish it, Davis said. “Our plans are to leave for Alaska in December and have the Tellus drilling at our East Kitchen prospect in February or March,” he told Petroleum News on Friday.

ASRC Energy Services has been hired to operate the Tellus. It will oversee Inlet Drilling crews trained for the Tellus by Songa.

South Africa-based Centurion Gold Holdings Inc. is a resource development company that acquires, develops, and mines or spins out natural resource assets. The company's mineral assets generally have combined the potential for a near-term revenue stream and existing low-cost production operations with turnaround opportunities.

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