For the first time since the 1970s and 80s the oil and gas industry is showing a renewed focus on the offshore Beaufort Sea, with recent work commitments in excess of half a billion dollars in the region.
The resource potential of the Beaufort Sea is immense, estimated at of 67 tcf of natural gas and seven billion barrels of oil in the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea basin.
Yukon is developing an offshore strategy, and continues to work with Canada, the GNWT, Inuvialuit, industry and others to ensure Yukon’s role and participation in Beaufort Sea management and development.
Taking advantage of the potential economic and fiscal benefits of Beaufort Sea oil and gas exploration and development, such as employment / business opportunities and increased government revenues, and advancing Yukon’s offshore governance interest as a coastal jurisdiction was Yukon’s rationale for including offshore provisions in the 1993 Canada Yukon Oil and Gas Accord (Accord). The Accord committed both governments to begin offshore negotiations by November 2001 that would lead to a shared offshore oil and gas management regime and revenue sharing arrangement in the Beaufort Sea.
These negotiations continue, with the ultimate goal to position Yukon to maximize the potential benefits from oil and gas exploration and development in the Beaufort Sea, while ensuring environmental and socio-cultural integrity within the region.