Yukon News

YG hopes to resolve Northern Cross lawsuit out of court

Pierre Chauvin Monday April 10, 2017

Courtesy of Northern Cross

northern-cross.jpg

Northern Cross drilling equipment stored in 2008 in the Eagle Plains area.

The Yukon government hopes to find an agreement with Northern Cross after the oil exploration company filed a $2.2-billion lawsuit over oil and gas extraction in the Eagle Plains Basin.

“I hope there’s a way to make it work,” said Ranj Pillai, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. “I’d rather do that than deal with the legal process.”

Northern Cross claims a 2015 Yukon government moratorium on fracking in the Eagle Plains Basin prevents it from drilling for oil from land it has exploration permits for.

It wants to be compensated for the money it spent on exploration and the “fair market value” of the estimated 8.6 billion barrels oil in place.

Pillai confirmed the then-Yukon Party government put a fracking moratorium in place.

“It was a stance that the (energy, mines and resources) department wouldn’t accept anybody applying to frack,” he said. “As far as we’re aware there hasn’t been any request to frack.”

In April 2015 the Yukon Party government announced it was open to allowing fracking in the territory but only in the Liard Basin.

Pillai said the Liberal government supports conventional oil and gas development in the Yukon.

“We’re supportive of development in the Eagle Plains Basin,” he said. “Of course there’s an obligation to consult and collaborate with the First Nation of Nacho-Nyak Dun, Tr’ondek Hwech’in and VGFN (Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation).”

Pillai wouldn’t say what the government plans to do because the issue has “hit the legal system.”

“It’s a significant amount of money they’ve put on the table,” he said. “We have to review the statement of claim.”

During last fall’s election campaign the Liberals promised they would put in place a moratorium on fracking if elected.

“We heard it over and over from Yukoners, when it came to fracking, that wasn’t something they wanted to see,” Pillai said. “They didn’t feel there is enough preparation to understand the impact.”

But Yukon government officials met with Northern Cross in recent months, Pillai said, before the company decided to sue.

“We’ve met with Northern Cross and with a series of our ministers, we had a very positive meeting,” he said.

Northern Cross claims it can only extract the oil in Eagle Plains through fracking.

However a 2012 presentation available on Yukon Energy’s website seems to contradict that.

“The Geologic Survey of Canada median estimate of conventional natural gas resource potential is 6,000 bcf (billion cubic feet),” the presentation reads.

And Northern Cross’s own filing to the Yukon select committee on hydraulic fracturing wasn’t so categorical about having to use fracking.

“Northern Cross presented information about its Eagle Plains program … that it had no immediate plans for hydraulic fracturing but would prefer if the option was left open,” the committee report reads.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

10 Comments

closed doors wrote:
12:00am Saturday April 22, 2017

i do what i want!

SVKlein wrote:
4:54pm Friday April 21, 2017

Pfft! Nice try on the ‘behind closed doors with YP’. Anybody familiar with the players knows how cozy NC is with the current Libs. Neither have a great reputation of meaning what they say and saying what they mean.

NC will be laughed out of court wrote:
12:19pm Monday April 17, 2017

In some respects it doesn’t really matter what was said privately to the Yukon Party. There’s plenty of evidence in public statements where NC said it would not frack. Legally, I don’t expect they have a hope of winning any court case. Which makes me wonder the out-of-court settlement is being considered. It may save on legal costs for the government, but Yukoners deserve clarity, something a behind-closed-doors deal certainly won’t give us.

I agree that EMR has constantly undermined public policy. I hope that changes with this new government.

Never trust YUKON EMR Bureaucrats wrote:
9:35am Monday April 17, 2017

And never trust bureaucrats in the Oil and Gas Resources in EMR YTG, who continuously undermine public policy and grovel to the oil and gas industry. They in fact encouraged the whole Northern Cross position and emboldened them to go to court.

al wrote:
11:24am Friday April 14, 2017

lets have them disclose what chemicals are used to frack. Lets fin out how much oil and gas they can extract without fracking.

I do want oil and gas here but extraction has to come with zero environmental costs.

Anti-development spin wrote:
8:38am Wednesday April 12, 2017

doctors like spinning there same old BS. Fracking has changed you what do you call it negative spinning.

What's missing? wrote:
6:54am Wednesday April 12, 2017

Sure, Northern Cross publicly denied any interest in fracking. But who knows what was said behind closed doors with the YP Ministers? Anyone want to bet they were told to hide their interest in fracking until after the election? Think anyone was stupid enough to put that down on paper?

lies wrote:
8:42pm Tuesday April 11, 2017

What did Northern Cross say to the Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing when they were gathering responses to make recommendations regarding fracking?
“Northern Cross has no plans to use hydraulic fracture stimulation techniques at this time”
http://www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/pdf/rbhf_northern_cross_response_to_additional_questions.pdf

for what? wrote:
4:25pm Tuesday April 11, 2017

Such BS.  Northern Cross swore up down and sideways at a public meeting in June 2014, that they had zero intention of fracking.

Ranj is giving it away.  Why?  This sort of incompetence angers me.  It’s ignorable when it is not costing money but to just say, ‘uncle! uncle’’ as soon as someone threatens you, and throw up the white flag and offer money?  Pathetic.

Yukoner wrote:
7:02am Tuesday April 11, 2017

Someone in a previous comment linked a 2014 Whitehorse star article where the president stated that North Cross did not need to frack, nor had they plans to.  The president went further and stated that the geology in the Egale Plains did not require fracking for oil and gas extraction.  That’s on record at a public meeting.
So, tell us one thing just to put us at ease, then say something completely different when they want a gov handout, because make no mistake, they are looking for a sure thing.
Lesson one: Never Trust Big Oil.  Period.

Add a comment

Commenting is no longer available for this story. Commenting expires 21 days after publishing.