ARCHIVED - Nominations Invited for the Arctic Islands of Nunavut
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This will be the first Crown initiative to issue oil and gas exploration rights in Nunavut's short history. The Nunavut Tungavik Inc. (NTI) and officials of the government of Nunavut have been consulted by departmental officials. This first right issuance process has been a while in the making but all concur that the time is right to re-open Nunavut for oil and gas exploration investment. As with the Beaufort Sea/Mackenzie Delta area of the western Arctic, the department plans to make this an annual event.
The Call for Nominations opens at 9:00 a.m. on December 7, 2000 and will remain open for approximately two months, closing at 4:00 p.m.on January 29, 2001. A call for bids for exploration licences to explore for oil and gas on any nominated land may be anticipated for sometime in February 2001 should nominations be received. The proposed terms and conditions for a Call for Bids will be posted on our website or available by contacting our offices.
The outer boundaries of the Call area are indicated on the attached map (pdf). The call area is equivalent to half the area of the province of Alberta. A copy of the map is available on our Web site or by contacting our offices.
High Potential for Further Discoveries
Discovered oil and gas in the Arctic Islands represents five percent and 15 percent respectively of the remaining Canadian discovered recoverable resources in Canada (Source National Energy Board-1999). Recent estimates place the total resource (discovered plus potential) at 10% and 23% respectively of Canada's remaining resources of conventional crude oil and natural gas.
Although much of southern Nunavut is underlain by ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield, the far northern and offshore basins with thicker and younger sedimentary rocks have a greater oil and gas potential. Most northerly of Canada's exploration regions, the Arctic Islands overlie one of Canada's largest petroliferous basins. Exploration activity has been extensive, but sparsely distributed across this huge region. Nevertheless, the 160 wells drilled to date have discovered gas resources of over 14 trillion cubic feet. Two of the largest undeveloped gas fields in Canada are in the Arctic Islands.
The call area includes the full extent of the Sverdrup Basin in Nunavut. Nineteen discoveries were made in this Basin between 1969 and 1985, including a major gas field at Drake Point and the Bent Horn oil field. Bent Horn produced light crude for eleven years between 1985 and 1996.
Drilling success has been remarkable with one discovery for every six wells drilled in the Sverdrup Basin itself. There is high potential for further discoveries of both oil and gas, offshore and onshore. New exploration, production and transportation technologies encourage the evaluation of new exploration ventures and may cause the development potential of existing discoveries to be re-examined.
Nunavut Tungavik Inc. Support
"We fully support the development of Nunavut's petroleum resources and are very pleased that the first Call for Nominations after the signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is about to go ahead" said James Eetoolook, First Vice-President of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuit organization responsible for implementing the Agreement. Under the Agreement, Inuit have a role in ensuring that resource development will be done in a way that respects the environment and the values of Inuit as well as providing long-lasting benefits. We look forward to working with the petroleum companies and government in developing Nunavut's great petroleum potential."
Excerpts from the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement relating to the exercise of petroleum rights, article 27.1.2, would be included in any Call for Bids for information purposes only. Anyone interested may obtain a copy from the Nunavut Tungavik Inc website(Web site not available in English).
Nunavut Government Endorsement
Olayuk Akesuk, the Minister of Sustainable Development for the Government of Nunavut has said, "This call for nominations marks the start of a new era of exploration in one of Canada's largest and least explored sedimentary basins.
Minister Akesuk adds, "The Government of Nunavut looks forward to working with industry, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the Federal Government in the careful and responsible exploration and development of oil and gas resources for the benefit of the people of Nunavut and Canada. We are very excited and pleased with this first step."