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Buccaneer Energy has formed a project team to plan development of a natural gas discovery at the Cosmopolitan offshore Cook Inlet prospect, company CEO Curtis Burton said in a teleconference with investors Sept. 10.

“Cosmo has turned out to be substantially nicer than we had ever hoped for,” when the asset was acquired from Pioneer Natural Resources, Burton said.

The plan is to work toward development of a gas discovery in the upper reservoir sections of the field and to work on further testing and possible development of a deeper oil reservoir, he said.

Buccaneer has now moved the Endeavour jack-up rig from the “Cosmo No. 1” well to its “Southern Cross” prospect in north Cook Inlet, and plans work on another well in the “North West Cook Inlet” prospect, but will bring the jack-up rig back to Cosmopolitan for more drilling and testing this winter, Burton told investors in the call.

Buccaneer is part-owner of the Endeavour rig along with Ezion Holdings of Singapore and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, the state’s development finance corporation.

“We have started the permitting for the new drilling we need to do,” this winter at the location, he said. Cosmopolitan is just offshore Anchor Point and south of the parts of Cook Inlet affected by winter ice.

Buccaneer is meanwhile also drilling another onshore gas well at its small Kenai Loop gas field near the city of Kenai. The “KL-4” gas well is almost drilled to its bottom location. It will take some additional time to run tests on the well and set casing before a decision on a gas production test can be made, Burton said.

The company is also sorting out issues with the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Kenai Loop that would affect decisions on the well, he said.

Following completion of that drilling, the mobile rig being used there, which is owned by Buccaneer, will be moved to the West Eagle prospect east of Homer, where it will drill a test well.

In other news on Cook Inlet exploration, industry sources have reported that Furie Operating Alaska, another independent exploring offshore prospects, has completed its planned drilling for the season and will be moving the jack-up rig it is using, the Spartan 151, back to Port Graham for winter storage.

Company officials could not speak the status of the company’s program but the source, asking to remain unidentified, said Furie is continued to work on development planning for a gas discovery made in late 2011.

Production tests on the discovery were done this summer, the sources said, but there is no information on gas reserve estimates. Furie Operating privately-owned and does not routinely release information on operations.

Buccaneer is a public company, in contrast, that is traded on the Australian stock exchange and under rules of that exchange must make detailed information available on its operations for investors.