A Review of the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act as the Legal Framework for Future Development in the Northwest Territories


  • Raymond E. Quesnel




Energy Law, Petroleum Law


This article examines the current core legislation that governs oil and gas activity in Canada's North. While there has been increased industry interest in the Northwest Territories, there has thus far been a lack of actual oil and gas projects against which to measure the efficacy of the current regime in the context of northern development. An historical analysis of the legislative developments indicates that the northern regime formed the basis for the legislative framework now governing east coast megaprojects. The author evaluates the current basis on which rights are granted and recorded, the tenure system, the royalty regime, and the project approval process. He concludes that, while the northern regime is suitable for large scale developments, it may require certain changes to accommodate smaller, more conventional projects likely to be undertaken.