Assessors approve Kotaneelee reboot

Environmental assessors are recommending the approval of work to get the Kotaneelee gas field back into production. Natural gas production at the site, located in the southeast corner of Yukon, began in 1977.

Environmental assessors are recommending the approval of work to get the Kotaneelee gas field back into production.

Natural gas production at the site, located in the southeast corner of Yukon, began in 1977. The last producing wells were suspended in 2012.

Now EFLO Energy Inc., a company based in Houston, Texas, has a plan to get the field back into production. The gas will be sent through an existing pipeline that connects the Kotaneelee to Fort Nelson.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board recommended last week that the company be allowed to proceed with the work, subject to certain terms and conditions.

The company wants to re-work two existing wells and develop a quarry. The work is expected to take three months, and may take place this winter or this summer, according to the recommendations.

The project does not include the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at this time.

EFLO has indicated to the Yukon government that it would like to use fracking to get at potentially massive shale gas reserves within the next five to 10 years.

In the meantime, its focus is on accessing the relatively meagre conventional gas reserves that remain in the gas field.

Many of the recommended terms and conditions for the work at hand relate to wildlife and invasive species management.

The company should develop a plan for how to manage and clear invasive species in the area and report their presence, assessors recommended.

They should also maintain a wildlife log to report animal sightings to the Yukon government.

If there are ungulates, bears, bison or wolverines in the area, work should stop until the animals have cleared the area.

Land clearing should not take place during the bird nesting season, from May 1 to August 15.

If a winter road is used, it must have at least 10 centimetres of packed snow.

The Yukon government must consider the assessors’ recommendations and make a final decision on the project.

The Yukon Conservation Society has raised concerns that not enough is known about the potential effects of the proposed work on underground water.

“The project will require pumping hydrochloric acid underground to release gas trapped in the rock,” says Sebastian Jones, an energy analyst with the group, in a news release.

“The hydrogeology of the area is poorly understood and YESAB did not recommend that a ground water monitoring program be established before operations begin. Industrial activities should not proceed when no baseline data exists to help determine if these activities are contaminating ground or surface water in the area.”

He suggested that the gas field be shut down altogether.

“This gas field has reached the end of its life and it should be closed and reclaimed,” said Jones. “This project aims to eke out the last dregs of gas through the use of potentially environmentally damaging technologies.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read