Northern Cross rules the plains

Northern Cross Yukon Ltd. won 13 of the Yukon government’s spring 2007 oil and gas disposition bids for a total of $20 million.

Northern Cross Yukon Ltd. won 13 of the Yukon government’s spring 2007 oil and gas disposition bids for a total of $20 million.

The company will own the exclusive rights to explore for and develop oil and gas deposits throughout Eagle Plains for the next six years, subject to government approval and licensing.

The rights can be extended for four additional years if wells are drilled.

The Yukon government won’t comment on how many competing bids were submitted by the June 27 deadline.

The largest bid Northern Cross put in for a single disposition, or oil and gas rights to a parcel, was $5.1 million.

“It is encouraging to see this level of investment in the North,” said Archie Lang, the minister of Energy, Mines, and Resources, in a news release.

“This is a major step forward for the growth and development of a Yukon oil and gas industry,” he said.

The contiguous rights cover 4,700 square kilometres and connect with the Dempster Highway south of the lodge at Eagle Plains.

Two of the original 20 parcels of land included in the Eagle Plains and Peel Plateau spring 2007 oil and gas disposition were removed in early May after the chair of the North Yukon Planning Commission informed the Yukon government that the parcels covered the Whitefish Lake Wetlands, an ecologically sensitive and key territorial wetland complex.

The remaining five parcels, including two located in the Peel Plateau received no bids, a spokesperson with Energy, Mines, and Resources said.

In April the department of Energy Mines and Resources decided that Northern Cross would be permitted to perform flow tests over a two-year schedule on three abandoned gas wells 60 kilometres southwest of Eagle Plains Lodge.

Though they drew on recommendations that emerged from the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act process, the department’s decision to allow the company to pursue construction of an all-weather access road ran contrary to popular opposition.

Several First Nations and conservation groups joined with the Porcupine Caribou Management Board and Environment Canada in condemning the road.

They said they felt the road would enhance access and visibility for hunters and wolves into the endangered caribou herd’s winter range.

Critics also look unfavourably on the territorial government’s decision to pursue landscape-altering development decisions while the area’s land-use plan is in limbo.

“My understanding is that land-use planning for the area is largely completed now, and so can provide reasonable direction to the types of activities that should be allowed in any particular area,” Yukon MP Larry Bagnell wrote to the assessment board in January, on the topic of Northern Cross’ application.

The Yukon government can pursue economic development concurrent to the creation of the land-use plan under the terms of the final agreement land claims.

The senior planner working for the North Yukon Planning Commission said that the use of the Eagle Plains area for oil and gas does conform with uses set out in the soon-to-be-released North Yukon Land Use Plan.

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read