Industry interests in oil and gas exploration and development in the Beaufort Sea region have increased significantly over the past several years, with work commitments in excess of $3 billion dollars since 2007.
The resource potential of the Beaufort Sea is immense, estimated at 67 tcf of natural gas and 7 billion barrels of oil in the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea basin.
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) [ 5.1 MB]. The Accord committed both governments to offshore negotiations that would lead to a shared offshore oil and gas management regime and revenue sharing arrangement in the Beaufort Sea.
In December 2008, Yukon and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding [ 1.4 MB] which outlines Yukon’s enhanced role in offshore oil and gas management.
Yukon continues to work with Canada, the GNWT, Inuvialuit, industry and others to ensure Yukon’s role and participation in Beaufort Sea management and development. The Accord and the MOU will help 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.