Some tweaks are coming to the Northwest Territories Petroleum Legislation which the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment says should improve it in three areas.
At an engagement session at Yellowknife’s Tree of Peace Friendship Centre, representatives for NWT’s oil and gas say the changes are focused on transparency to the public, encouraging companies to develop resource discoveries, and updating language in the acts to reflect the current state of the industry.
The amendments will be coming to two territorial laws: the Petroleum Resources Act (PRA) and the Oil and Gas Operations Act (OGOA).
The amendments do not by any means signal a complete overhaul of the oil and gas laws, but instead are meant to modernize the existing laws as the territory gains a deeper understanding of the resources and the steps taken in their exploration and production.
Part of the proposition includes promoting increased investment in NWT oil and gas production, despite energy production seemingly moving away from non-renewable resources.
Director of Mineral and Petroleum resources Menzie McEachern says however that doesn’t mean the territory won’t move in this direction eventually.
One of the goals is to increase energy security for NWT communities by using more local energy. That would include renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass or hydro. But it would also include using the natural gas resources that we have here in terms of reducing the amount of diesel that we have here that gets imported from southern Canada. Natural gas is both cleaner than diesel, and it would be our own energy.
Members of the Sahtu Land Corporation also came from Fort Good Hope to attend the session. Edwin Erutsie says he’s encouraged by many of the amendments coming to the oil and gas laws, especially the GNWT’s assertion that they will be more open about all things involving petroleum.
The notion of transparency and what-not especially, I think is of interest to us.
Erutsie says he hopes these amendments bring about positive changes both environmentally and economically for the Sahtu region and the entirety of the territory.
All in all, 46 people attended the session in Yellowknife.