Energy resources in the Northwest Territories (NWT) include hydropower, crude oil and natural gas. Electricity in the Northwest Territories is generated from hydropower, diesel and natural gas.
In 2011, oil and natural gas extraction and utilities accounted for nine per cent of the Northwest Territories gross domestic product.
In 2011, the Government of Canada received just over $11.6 million in royalties from Northwest Territories oil and gas production.
Mining, oil and gas extraction, and utilities employed 2,000 people in the Northwest Territories in 2010.
Discover the key energy facts about Northwest Territories.
By the numbers (1MB PDF)
Discovered crude oil reserves in the Northwest Territories and related Arctic offshore are estimated at 1.183 billion barrels, with an ultimate potential of 6.2 billion barrels.
Only two fields were producing oil in the NWT by the end of 2010: the Norman Wells oil field in the central Mackenzie Valley and the Cameron Hills field southwest of Hay River in the southern Northwest Territories. Combined crude oil production in 2011 was 10,493 barrels per day.
The Norman Wells oil field discovered in 1920 was fully developed in the early 1980s and has produced continuously since 1985. The field produced 10,141 barrels per day in 2011.
The Cameron Hills field produced 352 barrels per day in 2011.
Most of the Northwest Territories' natural gas reserves underlie the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea. Discovered natural gas reserves in the Northwest Territories and related Arctic offshore are estimated at 16.2 trillion cubic feet. Ultimate potential of natural gas resources in the Northwest Territories and related Arctic offshore are estimated at 71 trillion cubic feet.
Three fields were producing natural gas in the NWT at the end of 2010: the Ikhil gas field on the Mackenzie Delta, Norman Wells field in the central Mackenzie Valley and the Cameron Hills field southwest of Hay River in the southern Northwest Territories. Combined production in 2011 was 15.9 million cubic feet per day.
In 2011, the Ikhil field produced 1.6 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, the Norman Wells field 8.4 million cubic feet per day and the Cameron Hills field 5.9 million cubic feet per day.
Natural Gas Pipeline
The proposed 1,196-kilometre Mackenzie Gas pipeline system would be built along the Mackenzie Valley and to link three natural gas fields in the Mackenzie Delta to southern markets. This pipeline would connect with an existing natural gas pipeline system in northwest Alberta. Expected capacity is 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.
Tax revenue during the construction phase of the pipeline could amount to $2.93 billion, of which 50.2 per cent would go to the Government of Canada, 24.2 per cent to Alberta, 17 per cent to other provinces and 8.6 per cent to the Northwest Territories.
During the operating phase, government revenue, including taxes and royalties (based on 2006 natural gas prices), could amount to $12.6 billion, of which 61.7 per cent would go to the Government of Canada, 12.9 per cent to Alberta, 2.8 per cent to other provinces and 22.7 per cent to the Northwest Territories.
The project could employ more than 1,000 Northwest Territories residents annually during the construction phase; however, during the operations phase this number would be much lower. Presence of the pipeline could spur further exploration and development, in which case employment in the services sector would expand.
Crude Oil Pipelines
The Enbridge pipeline has been in operation since 1985 and extends approximately 870 kilometres between Norman Wells, Northwest Territories and Zama, Alberta. The pipeline has a capacity of 30,000 barrels per day.
Hydro Power is one of the Northwest Territories main energy sources. In 2010 it accounted for 32% of the territories' overall power generation including both industrial and utility generation.
The Northwest Territories currently has six hydroelectricity generating stations: Bluefish, Snare Rapids, Snare Falls, Snare Cascade, Snare Forks, and Taltson.
These six locations have a total installed capacity of 54.95 megawatts.
There is potential for 12,000 megawatts of hydro power in the Northwest Territories but less than 0.5% of this is developed.
Thermal Electricity Generation
There are 32 diesel generating facilities in the Northwest Territories with a total installed capacity of 74.3 megawatts.
The territory also has two natural gas fired generating stations operating in Norman Wells and Inuvik, with a combined installed capacity of 22.2 megawatts.
Thermal electricity facilities can generate power several different ways, including natural gas (represented by circles on the map), oil/diesel generation (squares), coal (triangles) and biomass (diamonds).