The now defunct Kotaneelee gas plant in southeast Yukon. (Submitted photo)

Sale of Kotaneelee wells by Apache should not affect abandonment

New owners Paramount Resources responsible for three of four wells

The recent sale of Apache Corp’s Canadian assets should not affect well abandonment or spill clean-up efforts at the defunct Kotaneelee gas plant.

On July 26, Houston-based Apache Corp. partitioned and sold its Canadian holdings in a $1-billion deal. The assets went to four different companies, including Paramount Resources, which picked up the Kotaneelee stake.

Brigette Parker, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, said the sale should not impact either the abandonment of the three wells Apache sold, nor the cleanup of a spill at a building at Kotaneelee. Once the sale is finalized, she said, the responsibility for the three wells will simply transfer to Paramount.

“Once the company formally informs us of the change, the ownership and responsibility is transferred,” she said.

Apache became the owner of three of the four suspended gas wells in August 2015 following a spill of wastewater and lubricants stemming from a pump house at the remote facility 240 kilometres east of Watson Lake.

The owners at the time of incident, EFLO Energy, were found to be insolvent when asked to pay for the cleanup, resulting in the divvying up of their assets. Apache was found to be the majority shareholder of three of the wells and assumed responsibility for them.

The fourth well — the now infamous L38— was found to be the responsibility of the Yukon government, because EFLO was the sole shareholder.

The abandonment of this single well is slated to cost taxpayers $1.8 million.

The Yukon Socio-Economic Assessment Board recommended June 28 that a plan to permanently abandon the Kotaneelee wells be approved. The wells will be permanently sealed and infrastructure at the site dismantled. The proposal for abandonment was filed separately by both Apache and the Yukon government for their respective properties but was reviewed as a single proposal by YESAB.

Rob Yeomans, a spokesperson for YESAB, said the sale does not affect the board’s recommendations unless Paramount decides it wanted to do something different than what was in the initial abandonment proposal. In that case, the project would have to be reviewed again, Yeomans said.

The Yukon Development Assessment Board has until August 4 to make a final decision on the proposal. If approved, remediation and abandonment work could begin as early as April 2018.

The spill cleanup, which began in 2015, is ongoing.

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

EnvironmentEnvironment YukonKotaneeleeoil and gas

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

Just Posted

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

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

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: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for 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

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read