Buccaneer Energy Suspends CEO

The board of directors for Buccaneer Energy may be taking the company in a new direction. Last week, the board suspended CEO Curtis Burton.

In a news release, the Buccaneer Board of Directors announced that Burton had been suspended with pay. With little explanation, the board announced that the suspension would be in place until a review could be conducted. In the meantime, Chief Restructuring Officer John T. Young was named interim CEO.

Related: Small Victories, Big Problems for Buccaneer In Alaska

Endeavor jack-up rig. Photo by Bill Smith
Endeavor jack-up rig. Photo by Bill Smith

The suspension comes on the heels of a string of bad news for Buccaneer. Last December, as the company prepared to move its onshore Glacier drilling rig from Kenai to Homer to begin work on its West Eagle project out East End Road, Buccaneer Alaska President Jim Watt was fired, as was Vice President Allen Huckabay and Alaska Spokesperson Christina Anderson.

Two months later, the company announced that the only well it drilled at West Eagle had come up dry, forcing the company to abandon the project.

It was Burton who led the charge for the Australian oil company to take advantage of tax incentives in Alaska and open up ship in and around Cook Inlet. That foray has led to a few successes – like the two gas-producing wells drilled at Kenai Loop – and a string of problems, like several issues with the company’s jack-up rig Endeavour.

Burton has filed a lawsuit against his employer in District Court in Harris County, Texas. The details of that lawsuit were not immediately known.

Buccaneer announced earlier this month that it has hired Conway MacKenzie, Incorporated to help it organize finances and reevaluate its strategies. Young, the interim CEO, sits on the Conway Mackenzie Board of Directors.

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