ARCHIVED - Annual Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Delta Call for Postings

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Volume 3, Number 1
January 1996

Call for Nominations Launched

The Northern Oil and Gas Directorate is calling for nominations over some 100 million hectares (385,000 square miles) in the Mackenzie Delta, Beaufort Sea and western Arctic Islands. Industry may request postings until the close of the 1996 Call on April 12, by mail or FAX to the Northern Oil and Gas Directorate (FAX 819-953-5828). Posted parcels will be included in a competitive call for bids scheduled to close in August 1996. This year the call area includes lands recently surrendered by Shell in the Mackenzie Delta.

The 1996 call is the eighth to be held in the Inuvialiut Settlement Region. Previous calls have resulted in the issuance of seven exploration licences since 1989. The annual cycle meets the expectation of local communities and industry for a predictable planning environment which should assist in developing land acquisition, exploration and other business strategies.

Terms and conditions of Call for Bids

Winning bidders will be awarded an exploration licence for a term of nine years divided into two periods. The drilling of a well during the first period qualifies the explorer to keep the licence for the full term.

The highest work proposal bid is the single criterion used to select winners. That is, the company proposing to invest the greatest amount of money on a specified parcel doing exploratory work will be awarded the licence for that parcel. Tenure is not related to whether or not the total amount bid has been spent, although deposits unredeemed by work will be forfeit at the end of the first period.

The Call Package

Interested parties may download electronic versions of the call document and map from our World Wide Web home page on Internet at the end of January. Paper copies are available from the Northern Oil and Gas Directorate or the Frontier Information Office of the National Energy Board.


The Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea region is a prolific hydrocarbon province with 53 out of 178 exploratory wells designated as oil or gas discoveries. About half of these discoveries occur onshore in the Mackenzie Delta and on the adjacent Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula: the remainder lie in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea. Onshore, the largest three gas fields at Taglu, Parsons Lake and Niglintgak have combined established reserves of 5.8 trillion cubic feet (165 billion cubic metres - National Energy Board 1989). These form the nucleus of future gas projects for exporting Delta gas. Five oil discoveries in the 25 to 100 million barrel range (4 - 15 million cubic metres) are also onshore and excellent potential exists for further discoveries in the high end of this range. Offshore, the very thick stacked sandstone reservoirs associated with the Amauligak trend offer potential for further oil discoveries in the major category (100 - 500 million barrels/15 - 80 million cubic metres).

The Call area also includes thick sedimentary basins on Banks Island with moderate hydrocarbon potential, and in the western Sverdrup Basin of the Arctic Islands. The Sverdrup Basin, in particular, has proved rich in gas and oil with 19 discoveries. In the western Sverdrup, the Hecla Field contains gas resources of 3 trillion cubic feet (85.5 billion cubic metres), one of two major gas pools discovered along the southern margin of the basin. This margin also has high potential for oil discoveries in several exploration plays which have been barely explored. To the east of the Call area, Bent Horn field has been producing oil since 1985.

The Call also offers a vast area where well control is absent or extremely sporadic, and includes sedimentary basins with poorly understood potential for oil and gas. These expanses offer opportunities for explorers to develop ideas using modern reconaissance methods.

Results of Calls for Bids Available on Internet March 27 and April 10 1996

A quick reminder that bidding closes March 26, 1996, for the five parcels in the Central Mackenzie Valley. Bidding closes April 9, 1996, for the eight parcels in the Southern Northwest Territories.

The results of these two Calls for Bids will be available at 16:00, Ottawa time, on March 27 and April 10 respectively via our World Wide Web home page on Internet, from the Frontier Information Office of the National Energy Board in Calgary, or may be faxed upon request from the Northern Oil and Gas Directorate.

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