Company withdraws request for fracking in Yukon

Northern Cross has withdrawn its proposal for fracking at its Eagle Plains, Yukon, exploration site.

Yukoners want public debate on whether practice should be allowed in territory

An Alberta-based gas company has withdrawn its proposal for fracking at its Eagle Plains, Yukon, exploration site.

Northern Cross did so after the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board requested more information on the subject.

The assessment board received hundreds of comments from Yukoners concerned about hydraulic fracture stimulation.

Dawson office manager Shelby Jordan said they, in turn, asked Northern Cross for more information.

Don Roberts said he thinks the company might try to do fracking in the future, even though they have withdrawn their request. (CBC)

"The proponent has indicated they are no longer going to be proposing that or considering it for their activities. So it's not included in their assessment." Jordan said.

Don Roberts chairs Yukoners Concerned About Oil and Gas Exploration in the Yukon.

He said the written withdrawal leaves something to be desired.

"I think deep down, it's not over yet because if you read the comments and sort of see what the withdrawal was all about they basically are saying that ‘if we still find that we need to do something more than just drill and we have to frack to find out what's going on, all we have to do now is go to the minister’," said Roberts.

The withdrawal reads, "NCY first needs to gather information by drilling the two proposed wells and evaluating samples and test results before determining whether hydraulic fracture stimulation can be considered as an appropriate procedure to support future resource development. To the extent that hydraulic fracturing stimulation is a viable procedure, its application would be undertaken in compliance with the statutory and regulatory regime of Yukon".

Roberts said there needs to be a public debate on whether there should be fracking allowed anywhere in the territory. He said other jurisdictions have banned it because of its adverse effects on groundwater.