The Yukon government has accepted all 21 recommendations made by a Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly Regarding the Rights and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing. The Select Committee held public hearings and accepted submissions to help the Yukon Government develop a policy approach to hydraulic fracturing in the Yukon.

The Select Committee’s recommendations largely addressed the need to gather more information about fracking and its impact in the Yukon. For instance, it recommended that research be conducted regarding fluid and gas leakage from hydraulic fracturing operations specific to the unique permafrost conditions in the Yukon. It also recommended more baseline data on seismic activity be collected given that parts of the Yukon are seismically active.

The Yukon Government has announced that it is open to shale gas development opportunities in the Yukon but only in the Liard Basin at this time and only if such development has the support of affected First Nations. The Laird Basin borders British Columbia and the B.C. side of the play is considered a world class shale gas deposit containing 176 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.

The Laird Basin is only about 1.3% of the Yukon’s land mass, and for now hydraulic fracturing is not being considered in the Peel or Beaufort-Mackenzie Basins, both of which are thought to have high potential for shale oil and gas reserves.