The first systematic study of the NWT's potential suggests that the territory could be home to a motherlode of shale natural gas.
Globe and Mail Update Published on Friday, Apr. 09, 2010 8:15PM EDT
Decades have been spent chasing the dream of Arctic gas, complete with a Mackenzie Valley pipeline to carry the fuel to markets. But a much more accessible Northwest Territories petroleum prize could lie within striking distance of existing pipelines.
A new study has found that the territory could be home to substantial shale gas supplies on its southwestern border with British Columbia.
On the B.C. side, the Horn River gas play has already attracted huge exploration budgets and attention from companies like Exxon Mobil Corp., EnCana Corp. and Apache Corp.
But virtually no one has explored for Horn River gas in the NWT.
The first systematic study of the NWT's shale potential suggests that the territory could be home to a motherlode of shale natural gas, its author said last month when the report was released.
The NWT portion of the Horn River resource has "got to be in the same kind of ballpark" as the B.C. side, says Brad Hayes, president of Petrel Robertson Consulting, who was hired by the territory to conduct the study. "There's a substantial area there."
But this area is also home to the Deh Cho First Nations, a native group opposed to petroleum development. [...]