Oil and gas regulation after devolution

The GNWT’s department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) will be responsible for the regulation of onshore oil and gas development in the NWT. Regulation includes ensuring public health and safety, environmental protection, and conservation of petroleum resources. Currently, the National Energy Board (NEB), an arms-length federal agency, serves as the Regulator of oil and gas activities throughout the Northwest Territories.

After devolution, responsibility for NWT oil and gas regulation will be as follows:

Offshore (Beaufort Sea)
Canada will retain jurisdiction for the offshore. The NEB will remain the Regulator of oil and gas activities in the offshore operating under existing federal legislation.

Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR)
The NEB will remain the Regulator of oil and gas activities in this region for the next 20 years. This will ensure consistent regulation of resources that straddle the onshore/offshore. The NEB will operate under territorial legislation in this region.

Onshore Outside of the ISR
The Minister of ITI will become the Regulator of oil and gas activities in onshore areas outside of the ISR, guided by an integrated resource management approach. When necessary, decision making will be delegated to independent, expert staff within ITI. This is consistent with conventions supporting Ministerial governance in the NWT and in Canada generally.

Public hearings on regulatory matters will continue as a part of the environmental assessment process, pursuant to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, and requirements to hear directly affected parties under the Oil and Gas Operations Act will not change.