Energy, Mines and Resources

Oil and Gas Resources

Exploration and Production

Yukon is considered an oil and gas frontier area with minor industrial development of the resource to date. Activity within Yukon has seen:

  • the Canol Pipeline from Norman Wells to a Whitehorse refinery in 1944;
  • the first well drilled  in the Yukon at Eagle Plains in 1958;
  • several exploratory wells from 1964 – 1974 and others sporadically afterwards;
  • occasional geoscience investigation programs to help define resources; and,
  • establishment of the Kotaneelee Gas Plant in the Liard Basin in 1977, connected to a Fort Nelson processing plant via the Pointed Mountain pipeline from the NWT.

Oil and Gas Resources, through the Chief Operations Officer, regulates oil and gas exploration and production activity in Yukon in coordination with other government departments and agencies. The primary legislation governing oil and gas in Yukon is the Oil and Gas Act  1.1 MB. Its purpose is to:

  • provide for disposition of oil and gas rights on terms that provide a fair and equitable economic return to Yukon people;
  • provide for the economic, orderly, and efficient development of oil and gas resources with the principle of sustainable development, the maintenance of essential ecological processes, and preservation of biological diversity;
  • facilitate a common disposition and regulatory regime across Yukon while respecting jurisdictions of the Yukon Government and Yukon First Nations;
  • afford Yukon residents the opportunity to benefit from oil and gas activities; 
  • maintain a system for the registration of security notices; and
  • afford the Yukon Government and Yukon First Nations and other owners the opportunity to obtain their respective shares of oil and gas recovered from a pool.

Of utmost importance is consideration of environmental and socio-economic effects, ensuring the conservation of resources and preventing waste, and observing safe and efficient practices. This is implemented by a modern and effective regulatory regime which covers the following major activities:

Geoscience Exploration

  • Geological: aerial surveys, ground penetrating radar, test holes, etc
  • Geophysical: seismic surveys, magnetic surveys,  electromagnetic surveys, etc

Wells

  • Oil or gas exploration and production
  • Underground formation injection
  • Drilling rigs
  • Abandonment

Production

  • Reservoir evaluation 
  • Workover (eg. wireline, coiled tubing, snubbing)
  • Maintenance
  • Completions (eg. casing, wellhead, perforation, lifting, treatment)
  • Suspensions

Field Facilities

  • Pump or compressor stations
  • Disposal and storage stations
  • Waste storage and processing
  • Equipment (eg. dehydrators, separators, treaters)

Pipelines

  • Wholly within Yukon

Gas Processing Plants

  • Extraction of H2S, helium, ethane, NGL, or otherwise from natural gas

LNG Facilities

  • Liquefaction, storage, vaporization of natural gas

Offshore Activities and Inter-jurisdictional Pipelines