Despite its large resource base, the Arctic region is one of the least active in Canada in terms of exploration and development. A lack of infrastructure, a harsh operating environment and seasonal access, combined with current commodity prices has resulted in a significant stall in activity. Both offshore and onshore areas have been leased in pursuit of the vast Arctic resources, including the Canol and Hare-Indian shales. Major players in the area have all recently announced the suspension of exploratory drilling and development of their respective acreages for the foreseeable future. The Mackenzie Delta Producers Group is investigating the possibility of developing the three largest fields in the Mackenzie Delta, which together hold reserves of 6.3 tcf of gas. These fields would serve as the anchors for the proposed Mackenzie Pipeline project. If it proceeds as estimated in 2026, the project would foster further investment and development in Arctic Canada.
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Volatility in oil markets has led players in the upstream oil and gas industry to focus on reducing capital spend and operating costs. At the same time, governments need to review fiscal terms to maintain attractiveness and investment.
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Country report | Dec 2015
Arctic Canada upstream summary
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