Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Whitehorse Star

COMPANY TALKS TRANSPARENCY – Northern Cross Yukon's winter operations at Eagle Plain are seen in the photo above (Star file photo). Below: about 75 people turned out Monday evening in Whitehorse to hear the company outline its oil and gas exploration plans over the next 10 years (Star photo by CHUCK TOBIN). Richard Wyman

Fracking not part of Northern Cross' drilling horizon

Approximately 75 people turned out Monday evening to hear Northern Cross Yukon explain its oil and gas exploration plans on Eagle Plain for the next decade or more.

By Chuck Tobin on June 18, 2014

Approximately 75 people turned out Monday evening to hear Northern Cross Yukon explain its oil and gas exploration plans on Eagle Plain for the next decade or more.

Company president Richard Wyman told the audience there's a significant opportunity brewing in northern Yukon for the territory's economy and workforce, particularly if a commercial product is established.

He laid out a proposal for up to 20 more exploration wells over the next few years, based on the results so far from the company's 3D seismic program last winter.

Targets for the 20 wells have already been identified but how the project unfolds will depend on the results of further drilling and extended flow tests that will be used to help determine the productivity of each site, said Wyman.

The company president did emphasize Northern Cross has no plans to use hydraulic fracturing to get at the gas or oil, and is not expecting it will have to use fracking.

All the targets, he insisted, involve conventional drilling.

"We are looking for both crude oil and natural gas in this campaign,” said the company president.

Wyman said the company intends to submit its project plan to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board in the next week or two.

A tentative schedule posted by the company shows it hopes to be ready to renew drilling activity by January. The first extended flow test could begin by late next year, according to the schedule.

He explained the additional holes and the extended flow tests the company intends to conduct will eventually provide Northern Cross with the information it requires to determine if its supply of oil and gas on Eagle Plain is commercially viable.

"We just need to take a bit more time to understand it.”

Wyman said flow tests for each hole will need to go for about two years to provide the company with enough information to know what it's dealing with.

Each hole, he noted, will require year-round access.

Oil recovered during testing will have to be trucked south, though the company has not yet decided whether it will truck it all the way or ship it by sea through Skagway or other ports, he said.

Wyman said in addition to the 3D seismic program, the company is still analyzing data from four wells drilled between July 2012 and 2013.

Eagle Plain, Wyman reminded the audience, has the largest onshore potential for the development of oil and gas in the Yukon.

The Geological Survey of Canada estimates there are 4.5 million barrels of oil and six trillion cubic metres of gas, he pointed out

Wyman said the opportunities for the local economy are substantial.

Northern Cross would like nothing more than to shrink its main supply line from 3,500 kilometres into Alberta to a fraction of that, with links to Dawson City or Whitehorse, he said.

Wyman told the audience Northern Cross is committed to safety, respect, honesty, team work, inclusion and the environment.

"It is very important to Northern Cross that we are very transparent and open to what we are doing.”

He said while the company has received a substantial investment from the China Offshore Oil Corp., there is a still significant amount of Canadian interest in Northern Cross.

The company estimates it has already spent $120 million on its exploration program so far.

Northern Cross is holding meetings this week with First Nation representatives and the general public in four Yukon communities to explain its plans for the future.

Following the meetings in Whitehorse, the company moved to Mayo Tuesday, is in Old Crow today and will conclude the tour tomorrow in Dawson City.

Monday evening's audience included representatives of local survey, engineering and environmental consulting firms, the service and supply sector, environmental organizations, and several members of the territory's anti-fracking movement.

Surrounded by a handful of anti-fracking lobbyists following his presentation, Wyman told them the project proposal the company intends to submit for screening does not include a fracking option.

Should the company decide down the road to use hydraulic fracturing, it would have to go back before the assessment board and the regulatory agencies, he explained.

Wyman told the lobbyists the subsurface structure in the area of Eagle Plain occupied by Northern Cross is not of the shale type requiring fracking to release the hydrocarbons, as it is in southeast Yukon and across the way in the N.W.T.

Comments (1)

Up 4 Down 13

June Jackson on Jun 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Me thinks he (Richard Wyman) protests too much..

This site is a real good info site regarding what is going on in Canada..it is factual, not judgmental.


In June of 2013 NC DID submit an application "NCY was considering the possibility of using hydraulic fracturing as a method of resource extraction." The crap hit the fan about this time with YESAB posting publicly, (as it is required to do by law) the details of Project # 2012-0140. So much on the fan that NC "formally requesting that hydraulic fracture stimulation be removed from consideration as part of the project". Read about it here.


These people do not have the best interests of anyone or anything at heart..they are about money. That's what big business does. They aren't a social welfare program.

"Wyman told the audience Northern Cross is committed to safety, respect, honesty, team work, inclusion and the environment." Maybe..as long as it doesn't cost them any money.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.