Company plans to reboot Kotaneelee gas plant

EFLO Energy Inc. plans to resume natural gas production from the Kotaneelee basin in southeast Yukon. The company submitted an application to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board in September.

EFLO Energy Inc. plans to resume natural gas production from the Kotaneelee basin in southeast Yukon.

The company submitted an application to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board in September.

The plan is to re-work two of the existing wells and develop a quarry.

Operations at the gas plant were suspended in September of 2012 because of excessive water production from the wells, according to the proposal document.

The gas field has been producing natural gas since 1977.

The proposed work is expected to take three months and should get two suspended wells back into production. Hydraulic fracturing is not part of the company’s plan at this time.

Assessors have deemed the company’s proposal adequate, and are currently accepting public comments on it.

YESAB will accept comments though its online registry through Nov. 17.

EFLO has indicated to the Yukon government that it would like to use hydraulic fracturing 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 Yukon Legislative Assembly this week NDP Leader Liz Hanson asked if the government has given the company any assurances that it will be permitted to frack when the time comes.

Resources Minister Scott Kent said that the government has been clear with the company that it is waiting to hear what the legislature’s fracking committee has to say before it will make any decisions about how or if hydraulic fracturing will be allowed in the territory.

The select committee regarding the risks and benefits of hydraulic fracturing was established last year to review the controversial method of extracting natural gas and make recommendations to the legislature.

Since then it has been consulting Yukoners and experts on the subject.

The committee held public meetings in every Yukon community this year. The vast majority of people who spoke voiced strong opposition to fracking.

The committee’s deadline to produce a report is Dec. 18, the final day of the fall sitting.

Northern Cross (Yukon) Ltd. also has an oil and gas development proposal in front of assessors.

That company is planning to drill up to 20 exploration wells in Eagle Plains over the next eight years.

How well those wells produce will help to determine whether the field is economically viable to go into full production.

At this stage, Northern Cross’s exploration efforts are focused on conventional reserves, which are significantly easier to get at where they exist.

The Eagle Plains basin is at a much earlier stage of development than the Kotaneelee.

Currently there is no pipeline or other means of connecting Eagle Plains to gas markets, so the company must prove that enough resources exist to justify the cost of that significant infrastructure.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board will accept comments on the Northern Cross proposal through Nov. 27.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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