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The Development of Tuk Harbour to Support Activity in the Beaufort Sea - Some Considerations

The Base for the Beaufort Project

Doug Matthews
Matthews Energy Consulting

The Base for the Beaufort Project

The Base for the Beaufort (B4B) Project began four years ago with the support of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. The
Project was funded by CanNor, with assistance from IRC and the Departments of Industry, Tourism and Investment and
Environment and Natural Resources of the Government of the NWT.
It was becoming clear in 2010 that the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP), the presumed long-term economic driver of the
Mackenzie Delta and the Valley, was looking less and less certain.
A combination of regulatory delays, cost increases and robust competition from newly-developing shale gas production in
the United States and southern Canada were conspiring to make the economics of the MGP look very questionable and it was
apparent that the regional economy required a Plan B.
Luckily, at this same time, industry interest in exploring the deeper waters of the Beaufort Sea was returning after a twentyyear delay. This interest provided a possible economic alternative for the regional economy and thus was born the Base for
the Beaufort Project.
As noted in the original IRC submission
to CanNor, there are, at present,
four possible scenarios for offshore
operations - the expected, but long-term,
move by the Mackenzie Gas Project
offshore to produce needed gas; the
current deep-water licensing for oil
exploration; shallow water exploration
for, and production of, oil; and eventual,
albeit long-term, development of High
Arctic natural gas finds and their move
to the Delta terminus of the MGP. Of
these four, deep water exploration,
evidenced by the current licenses held by
Exxon, BP and Chevron, holds the most
immediate promise for an economic
rebound for the Region.

Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk

Given the uncertainty surrounding the Mackenzie Gas Project and the very long lead times associated with High Arctic gas
development, It became apparent early in the process that the B4B Project would most usefully be focused on the prospects
for deep-water exploration and how the Region might best prepare to support such exploration and benefit from it.
It also became apparent during the past four years of work on the Project that other issues - the Tuk to Inuvik Highway and
the impacts of climate change on the Tuktoyaktuk coastline and harbour - also presented both challenges and opportunities
for the community and the region and needed to be considered as part of the Base for the Beaufort planning.

The Base for the Beaufort

The Process
The starting point for the B4B Project was:
interviewing oil and gas companies with Beaufort/Delta interests to determine what infrastructure assets they will need to
effectively support offshore exploration in the years to come.
During the period from December/10 through April/11, some 60 interviews were conducted with a range of interested parties
including exploration industry representatives, support industry personnel, government officials (federal and territorial),
territorial government ministers, local mayors, small businessmen, academics and a number of individuals who, now retired,
were active in the last Beaufort exploration period.
Individuals (who were promised anonymity in the interest of gaining a full expression of their opinion) were asked to provide
their views on the types of assets that would be required to support offshore exploration. The term assets was used rather
than infrastructure in order to gain as broad a view as possible, that is, one not limited to roads and bridges.
They were asked to consider three categories of asset:
Those that would be required primarily and in some cases, exclusively, for offshore exploration. (A deep-water port would
be an example).
Public assets that, while primarily there for public use, could be expanded to support offshore exploration and
development. (The Inuvik airport would be an example).
The third category is assets that currently exist, or could be developed, but that generally arent considered as a support
unit for the offshore. (The Inuvik Science Centre as a vehicle for Arctic oil-spill research would be an example).

Its All About Access

It became apparent during the interviews that while participants differed markedly, and expectedly, in their views, depending
on their field of activity, there was, in fact, one common element among them all, and that element when reduced to its
simplest form could be described as access.
Whether moving ships to and from location, airlifting supplies, transferring waste materiel out of the north, having the
required information concerning weather and ice conditions,
providing the required medical services to both industry
personnel and the general public, it all came down to access.
And, it need be noted in the context of the Arctic, access means
not only the existence of the physical means to do something
but also the cost of using the required asset.
A road may be available but if the costs of maintaining and using
it are considered unreasonable, it isnt an asset, its just a road.
This cost issue came up numerous times in the interviews and
was particularly stressed, as might be expected, by industry
Medical Services

The Base for the Beaufort

Why the Focus on Costs?

In the context of Beaufort development, there are two reasons for this cost focus first, unlike past exploration efforts in
the offshore, the current programs will be paid for by the companies themselves, not shared with the taxpayer through
government vehicles such as Petroleum Incentive Program grants and accelerated depletion allowances as were enjoyed in
the 1970s and 1980s.
And second, oil being a fungible commodity, the only real competitive advantage to be enjoyed by a producer is one of
lower costs. Without product differentiation, competition among supply basins is largely based on the operating costs of
those basins. (the location of the Horn River shale gas reserves close to the Alberta natural gas system provides a clear cost
advantage over the Mackenzie Delta reserves and the latter is disadvantaged as a result).
Given this focus on costs, it also became apparent that while in many cases the asset already existed (the Dempster Highway,
the Inuvik airport, Tuk Harbour) or was expected to become available in the near future (the Tuk-Inuvik highway, the Inuvik
runway extension), there was a great deal of uncertainty abut how best to use it.
Was the northern infrastructure being used in the most cost efficient manner possible? Were opportunities to expand the use
of the infrastructure to other ends, and thereby reduce its costs, being fully realized?

The Regions Physical Assets

While distant, the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Region is blessed
with three major physical assets the Dempster Highway and its
anticipated extension from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk; the Inuvik and Tuk
airports; and the waters of the Mackenzie River and the Beaufort Sea.
The Region can thus be reached by truck, by plane and by boat and the
prospects for all three look very good in the years to come.

Dempster Highway

Numerous interviews were conducted with both those who use

these three assets and those who are responsible for managing and
maintaining them. As with all other interviews, there were a number
of viewpoints expressed, not all complementary.
First, why are these three assets important to Beaufort development?
Given the limited manufacturing, agricultural and population
resources of the Region, virtually all of the supplies needed to
engage in offshore drilling will need to be brought into the area. This
means access to the Beaufort is a major concern for developers and,
as noted earlier, that means cost-effective access.

Dempster Highway

It was pointed out by several interviewees that some drilling inputs

and wastes will have to be moved out of the Beaufort, too and these
movements will also require cost-effective transportation options.
Several observers also noted that access also includes the issue of
access to markets, a barrier that has consistently stood in the way of
northern resource development. Despite the vast size of the Norths
petroleum resources, under 30,000 barrels a day of oil currently make
their way to market, the result of the Norman Wells oil pipeline, one
built some thirty years ago.

Mackenzie Delta

The Base for the Beaufort

The history of failed efforts to move northern natural gas to southern markets, efforts stymied either by federal commissions
or unsettled land claims, is only too well known and remain cautionary tales for planning future development.
Whether offshore oil will be shipped by tanker or by pipeline to shore and then south will not be determined for some time.
But, as we have seen with the Mackenzie Gas Project, waiting until production is imminent is not the time to get your routes
to market established.
There may be merit in reviewing the work of the 1980s Beaufort Environmental Assessment Review Panel (BEARP Report) that
looked at both ship and pipeline options and suggested the preliminary work that would need to be done to realize either.
The current status of the roads, the airports and the waterways, while good, will not be sufficient if we are to proceed to
significant Beaufort exploration and development.
Fortunately, it appears that expansions in two of the three are planned and, if certain limitations can be overcome, the third
may also grow into a new and expanded role.
The Dempster Highway has long provided road access to the Delta
although its terminus in Inuvik served to limit its usefulness for past
Beaufort exploration. While company representatives did note the
possibility of moving truckloads from the highway to barges and then
on to Tuk Harbour, they also noted that this practice involved additional
material handling and additional costs.
The winter ice road to Tuk helps to overcome this problem but the very
fact that its a winter road, while much of the offshore exploration will take
place in the open water season, means that material and supplies must be
transported and stored in advance of that season, again increasing costs.
The development of an all-weather road from Inuvik to Tuk will help
overcome this barrier, allowing for shipments to travel from southern
suppliers directly to Beaufort consumers year-round.
It was noted by several industry representatives that some supplies, drill
pipe, for example, will likely be warehoused in a central location so that
tubulars will always be available as needed. This, in turn, could provide for
material handling and inventorying opportunities in Tuktoyaktuk.
The road will also provide year-round access for waste shipments moving
to southern treatment facilities, again limiting the need for offloading,
storage and excessive handling.
Air travel to the Region is at present relatively simple, albeit expensive.

Ice Road

The Inuvik airport, a single asphalt runway of 6000 feet, is expected to be extended by an additional 4000 feet in support of
the militarys Forward Operating Location although the timing of this extension is unclear at present.
The Tuk gravel runway is currently listed at 5000 feet.
The former is equipped with instrument landing system capabilities; the latter is not.

The Base for the Beaufort

The interviews with interested parties concerning airports

revolved primarily around the implications for the Beaufort
of the expanded runway surface in Inuvik and the freight and
personnel movement advantages this runway might provide.
In particular, staff from the Winnipeg Airports Authority
(interviewed on the record) were both enthusiastic about
the expanded aircraft sizes that such a runway could support
and, given their experiences in expanding their airport
and developing its Centre Port Canada facilities, offered
numerous suggestions about the possibilities for airport
facility expansion that might include advanced freight and
personnel handling, duty-free and bonded warehouses and
long-range helicopter support.
Past Beaufort exploration generally saw Boeing 737 traffic into Tuk airport and then helicopter transfer of personnel to the
offshore rigs. An expanded Inuvik airport might better handle personnel transfer through the use of larger helicopters, thereby
reducing crew change costs and, given the better weather and instrument capabilities at Inuvik, delayed flights.
Marine support will be crucial for offshore
exploration and development not just in
supporting the drilling activity but also in
providing the first line of defense in the
event of a blow-out or an oilspill.
A number of the interviewees expressed
their support for some role for Tuk Harbour
but noted its serious draft limitations.
Given the water depth in which the offshore
exploration will take place, depths between
60 and 1000 metres, it is expected that the
drillships used will have drafts nearing 13m,
far in excess of the depths the approaches to
Tuk Harbour can presently accommodate.
It may be that some form of hybrid deep-water port will need to be developed, one that could see Tuk Harbour as the shore
base, a mid-way floating facility in the deep waters and service vessels trans-shipping from it to the deepest-water drilling rigs.
In terms of a supply role for the offshore, Tuk continues to have one strong advantage, namely access to water, both the
Beaufort and the Mackenzie, and the harbour has had long experience dealing with water-borne material handling, transshipping and storage.
In addition, individuals familiar with oil-spill response and clean-up operations argued for the use of Tuk Harbour as the fire
station for such activities and noted that it had been used as the base for just such support services in the past.

The Base for the Beaufort

Tuk Harbour and the Offshore - Some Recent History

Tuk Harbour was an integral part of the Beaufort Sea exploration
programs of the 1970s and 1980s, with Dome Petroleum, Gulf
Canada Resources and Esso Resources all operating out of the
harbour and its shore-based facilities.
This exploration was carried out both onshore and offshore with
the latter activity using various methods ranging from sacrificial
gravel islands to bottom-founded rigs to floating drill-ships.
During this period, the community saw significant increases in
municipal infrastructure to support the companies activities with
new local roads, a water reservoir, improved waste management
sites and a new, extended airstrip all being built.
A combination of the collapse of world oil prices in the mid-1980s and the cancellation of the National Energy Program and
its exploration support grants brought about the end of the Beaufort Sea exploration efforts and it was to be many years until
industry interest in the region returned.
Since that time, the technical and infrastructure
capacity once in place in Tuk Harbour has seriously
declined and can, today, be pretty well said to be
virtually non-existent.

The Oil Industry Returns

Beginning in 2006, industry interest returned to
the Beaufort with two parcels being put up for bid
by the federal government. This was followed in
2007 with a winning bid on a single parcel by Esso
Resources for $ 585 million.
The year 2008 saw BP bid on three exploration parcels
with bids totaling over $ 1.2 billion while Conoco
Phillips and MGM Energy also bid on other parcels.
In 2010, Chevron won one parcel in deep waters with a bid in excess of $ 100 million. There were two parcels awarded to
Arctic Energy & Minerals Limited (later name change to Franklin Petroleum) and in 2012, six new parcels were awarded to
Franklin Petroleum with a further exploration parcel being awarded to the company in May, 2014.
To date, then, the waters of the Canadian Beaufort have accumulated exploration work program commitments of nearly $ 2 billion.
The successful completion of the National Energy Boards Arctic Offshore Review had apparently given industry the certainty it
needed about Beaufort regulation and there was the expectation of more and more development in the years to come.
Exploration license terms were changed and new licenses issued by the federal government so that companies would not be
penalized for their inability to explore during the NEBs Arctic Offshore Review. As an example, the combined Esso Resources/
BP exploration licenses have been re-issued and the company has until 2020 to drill its required well.
1 In the Beaufort Sea, bids are evaluated on the basis of the amount of exploration work a company commits to perform during the first five years of a nine-year term license.

The Base for the Beaufort

In addition to the exploration planning, ConocoPhillips had expressed interest in returning to the existing Amauligak field with an
eye to reviewing its production. Regrettably, that initiative has now been concluded and no further work on the field is planned.
The area in which the exploration will take place, broadly defined as the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea Petroleum Province,
has been compared favourably for petroleum potential to the Gulf of Mexico.
Dennis Johnston, Devon Oil geologist noted at the 2007 Gussow Geoscience Conference that from a prospectivity and
hydrocarbon potential perspective, the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea has had the same fundamental geologic processes operating
in its favour as have occurred in the Mississippi Delta/Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon province.
As often happens in the Arctic, however, events have conspired to delay the start of exploration activity.

The Base for the Beaufort

Same Season Relief Well Issue

The Same Season Relief Well (SSRW) Policy has been in place for Beaufort Sea exploration since the mid-1970s.
Given the relatively limited open water season in the Beaufort, federal government policy requires that in the event of a
subsea blowout, a company must be able to drill a relief well within the same open water season as the original well. The
concern was that in the absence of such a capability, a well that ran out of control could continue to discharge oil and gases
under the ice throughout the winter, greatly increasing the possible damages.
This policy began with an estimate of each seasons open water period. If, for example, regulators determined that the
expected open water season for a year was 180 days (July to November, for example) and if it took 60 days to drill a well, then
the original well must be completed within the first 120 days so as to allow a further 60 days in the event a second relief well
were needed. This had the effect of dramatically reducing the drilling season and increasing company costs.
With the recent move to much deeper waters under the Esso, BP and Chevron exploration licenses, the companies planning
their exploration programs began to question this policy arguing that their wells could not be completed in a single season.
Further, they made the point that the very specialized deep water drilling equipment they would need to use would be
purpose built for the Arctic and it would be uneconomical to have a second vessel on standby in the unlikely event a relief
well were required.
The NEB, as a component of its recent Arctic Offshore Review, had agreed to look at the issue.
At the conclusion of its Review, the National Energy Board said that it will continue to require that any company applying for an
offshore drilling authorization provides us with specific details as to how they will meet this policy. An applicant wishing to depart
from our policy would have to demonstrate how they would meet or exceed the intended outcome of our policy. It would be up to
us to determine, on a case-by-case basis, which tools are appropriate for meeting or exceeding the intended outcome of the Same
Season Relief Well Policy.
This effectively opened the door to alternative approaches to the SSRW policy and both Imperial Oil Resources Ventures
Limited and Chevron Canada have requested an advance ruling on their proposed use of such an alternative approach.
The NEB is now seeking to address the companies approaches through a public review process.
At this point, the Board is determining the final list of issues it will consider during the review and the review itself will likely
begin in the Fall of 2014 with a decision in early 2015.
The SSRW Review has introduced some uncertainty into the Beaufort Sea exploration process as it appears possible that
companies with deep water licenses may choose to relinquish them in the event that the NEB determines that the same
season relief well policy must remain in place.
On the other hand, the slow down of offshore activity, if only for a year or two (companies have indicated that a SSRW
decision is needed by 2016 if they are to meet their drilling obligations) can be used to advantage in the development of Tuk
Harbour as a supply and support base for the offshore.

The Base for the Beaufort

Timing Considerations
The combination of the SSRW review and the completion of the Tuk to Inuvik Highway have introduced two timing
considerations into the work of the Base for the Beaufort project.
First, the focus of development work on Tuk Harbour can be altered such that much needed environmental research on the
physical characteristics of the harbour is conducted between now and 2016 and detailed infrastructure planning for offshore
support can await the NEB decision. Examples of that research follow in this report but include further work on ocean impacts,
climate change, coastal erosion and preliminary dredging considerations.
Second, the planned completion of the Tuk to Inuvik Highway in
2018 introduces another important date as that highway will have
impacts on the community regardless of offshore oil exploration.
The completion of the highway will result in significant tourism
activity for Tuktoyaktuk and will also provide the community with
a number of trans-shipment and inter-modal opportunities for the
movement of freight. In this case, the environmental studies have
been completed through the various regulatory reviews and the
challenge is to move forward with the required infrastructure.
The challenge, and the opportunity, for the local economy is to
prepare the services that will be needed to support this offshore
exploration activity, increased tourism and freight movement. One
significant element of this support could be a fully functioning
harbour/port2 facility at Tuktoyaktuk.
But first, some basic information to set the stage.

Where and What is Tuk Harbour?

As described in the ESRF study, 179, Review of Tuktoyaktuk Harbour as a Base for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and
The harbour at Tuktoyaktuk is located on the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula on the eastern side of Kugmallit Bay (approximately 69 N and
133 W) and east of the Mackenzie River Delta.
The entrance of the harbour is protected by a long, narrow and flat island which is subjected to strong erosional pressures,
accounting for a loss of approximately 2 m of shoreline a year.
Tuktoyaktuk Harbour is roughly 6.5 km long with a width of up to 1.8 km.
There are two basins in the harbour, a south and north basin separated by a narrows of approximately 0.6 km in width.
Both basins have depths greater than 20 m, however, the depths in the approaches to the harbour are only 4 m, which limits the
types of vessels that can access the harbour.

2 The term harbour/port includes both the physical attributes and the built-up infrastructure. For brevitys sake, the term port or harbour will be used in the pages that follow but
should be taken to mean both elements.
3 Hereinafter ESRF 179


The Base for the Beaufort

Where is the Oil & Gas Exploration Planned?

At present, there are 2 Production Licenses, 75 Significant Discovery Licenses and 17 Exploration Licenses active in the
Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea region.

By way of explanation of the various licenses, the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, the federal legislation governing right
issuances in the area, provides for sequential licensing with a company first obtaining an Exploration License (EL) in order to
have the exclusive right to explore for oil and gas on the license area.
If measurable quantities of oil and/or natural gas are discovered, but there is no economic means to produce the discovery
at present (world price too low, no pipeline take-away capacity, for example), the company can maintain its rights to the
discovery for an indeterminate period through a Significant Discovery License (SDL).
Once commercial production becomes possible, the company can apply for a Production License (PL).
Of particular interest to the current project are the 17 Exploration Licenses, all of which will require, under the terms of their
issuance, that exploration work be carried out on them within the next six to nine years.
The offshore ELs range from 100 to 300 km from Tuk Harbour and are found in water depths from 6 m near shore to 2000 m in
the far offshore.
As noted in the ESRF study quoted above, since the approaches to Tuk Harbour are shallow, 4 m, there is a limit to the draft of
the vessel that can access the harbour.
To give an idea of the draft limitations in the region, the Beaufort Harbour Study conducted by Dome Petroleum in 1979
showed that the distance from Tuk Harbour to the 10 m water depth was 37 km while the distance to the 17 m depth was 51 km.
On the other hand, while there are alternative sites along the coast with greater water depth and better approaches,
(McKinley Bay, Wise Bay, for example) no other site has the combination of harbour, airfield and soon to be all-weather
highway access that Tuk possesses.
It will be this combination of assets that gives Tuktoyaktuk a significant advantage over other sites along the coast.


The Base for the Beaufort

The Challenges Ahead

Tuk Harbour was used quite extensively during the exploration boom of the 1970s and 1980s, although even then, its
shortcomings, principally the shallow approaches to the harbour, limited its use to re-supply vessels for the deeper draft drill
ships and a base for barge traffic up and down the Mackenzie River, offshore barging and the oilspill response equipment.
Any overwintering of the deeper draft vessels took place at McKinley Bay some 90 km northeast of Tuktoyaktuk.
Because of the much deeper waters that the new exploration is planned for, the drill ships to be used will be of significantly
greater draft than those of the last exploration phase. This will further limit their access to Tuk Harbour (in fact, there will be
no such access for the drill ships) and industry has already begun to put forward the concept of using a fully self-supported
offshore drilling program that would by-pass, or severely limit, the need for any shore-based support.
Given the significant drilling challenges industry will face, it is understandable that companies would seek to be as costefficient as possible and therefore seek to limit their use of Tuk Harbour, with its challenges.
But, given also the risks of oilspills in the region, whether from a blow-out, pipe leaks or ship collisions, such an approach by
the companies would place all the risk on local residents with no balancing of the rewards from the offshore work.
If we are to right this balance, we need to find an economical way for Tuk Harbour to bring meaningful and measurable value
to the Beaufort Sea operations of the oil companies.

Issues to be Considered
Based on the research to date, a review of existing harbour/port facilities and consultations with both government and
industry representatives, there are four areas that will require some resolution in order to have Tuk Harbour play a meaningful
role in support of Beaufort Sea exploration.
First, the obvious geographical limitations of the harbour and the potential for ongoing physical changes to the area due to
the impacts of climate change.
Second, the characteristics of a port considered most useful in other facilities and by industry, that is, what should Tuk
Harbour look like?
Third, the management model for the harbour/port.
Fourth, the development of a multi-client facility so as to help reduce the costs of the port and build support among a
number of constituencies for the port development.

Anatomy is Destiny
As noted above, Tuktoyaktuk is located on the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula on the eastern side of Kugmallit Bay (approximately 69
N and 133 W) and east of the Mackenzie River Delta. The community is on the southern shore of the Beaufort Sea.
The National Research Councils Canadian Hydraulics Centre4 sets out the local environmental conditions in the Beaufort Sea region.
Regional temperatures range from +15C in the summer months to -40C in the winter and these temperatures,
combined with strong Arctic winds, produce very extreme wind chill factors.
4 NRC Technical Report CHC-TR-057, February, 2009


The Base for the Beaufort

Daylight hours range from non-existent to continual. The sun doesnt rise above the horizon for up to three months
during the winter in the Beaufort Sea while in the summer the sun does not set and shines for 24 hours of each day.
The NRC notes that ice in the Beaufort Sea takes three forms - the Arctic polar pack zone, the seasonal or transition (shear)
zone and the landfast ice zone.
The NRC describes the three zones as follows:
The Arctic Polar Pack is comprised of Old or multi-year ice with a level ice thickness up to 4.5 m and ridges that can be 25 m
thick. The polar pack continuously circulates with currents and winds in the Arctic Ocean and is present year round. Its degree
of penetration into the Beaufort Sea at any given time is dependent on the wind regime of the year. On average, the [southern]
boundary of the Arctic Pack lies some 200 km north of Herschel Island.
The seasonal transitional [shear] zone extends from the [seaward] edge of the (stationary) landfast ice to the edge of the moving
Polar Pack ice. The width of the zone can vary from a few kilometres to over 300 km both within a season and from season to season.
Although ice in this region is primarily comprised of first-year ice, there can be a large number of multi-year and second-year ice
flows. This ice is highly dynamic and movement [3 to 13 km/day] can take place throughout the winter. The moving ice results in
deformations in the ice sheets and the creation of both ridges and leads.
The landfast ice is extensive and forms out to a water depth of approximately 20 m. The [seaward] edge of the landfast ice varies
slightly from year to year the ice begins to grow in late September and reaches a maximum thickness of approximately 1.9 m in
late April.

One of many earth covered ice mounds call pingos that are found around the Tuktoyaktuk area

This landfast ice begins to break up in Spring, first on the seaward side where the northwest winds die off allowing a polynya
(an area of open water surrounded by sea ice) to develop and then on the shoreward side as the Mackenzie Delta melt moves
along the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula.
The landfast ice along the Peninsula generally fractures in early to mid July. Ice begins to form again in late September and by
late October much of the ice is at the first year stage right out to the edge of the Arctic Pack.
In addition to ice formation and movements, the area must deal with wind conditions that can be challenging.


The Base for the Beaufort

Again, according to the NRC, The dominant wind direction ranges from the northeast to the southeast during any month of the
year. Southerly winds are rare during the summer months. From July to September, westerly to northwesterly winds in excess of
36 km/hr become persistent.
It is these winds that are responsible for multi-year pack ice intrusions into the coastal waters.
Finally, it should be noted that at the extreme, ...once every 50 years, winds with an hourly average of 105 km/hr and a 1-minute
average of 140 km/hr can be expected.
Turning to the Beaufort Sea itself, the NRC has provided detailed information of the currents and the waves in the area.
For currents, the mean circulation pattern in the Beaufort Sea is dominated by the clockwise circulation of the Beaufort Gyre
and surface flow speeds can reach 5 to 10 cm/s at the southern edge of the Gyre over the western Beaufort, dropping to .1 to
.2 m/s at the 12 m depth.
This circulation pattern has important implications for the movement of any spilled oil whether from a blow-out or a shipping
discharge. A recent study published under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund, SIMAP Modeling of Hypothetical Oil Spills in the
Beaufort Sea for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) showed quite clearly how a Beaufort Sea blowout could affect the Alaskan coastline.
The NRC notes that the height of wind-generated waves depends on the wind strength, wind duration, water depth and the extent
of open water over which the wind blows (the fetch).
In the Beaufort Sea, this open water fetch has been traditionally limited by the presence of sea ice and local landmasses. The
continuing reduction in ice cover has changed this situation and the open water available for generating fetch continues to
increase with the expected influence on wave height.
A recent Geophysical Research Letter, Swell and Sea in the emerging Arctic Ocean, (Thomson & Rogers) confirms this trend
and concludes that surface waves in the Arctic Ocean increase during periods of sea ice retreat and that as a result surface waves
in the Arctic Ocean are now evolving from seas into swells.
We are seeing the impacts of this combination of shallow shoreline and increased wave action at Tuktoyaktuk harbour.
As described in ESRF 179:
The entrance of the harbour is protected by a long, narrow and flat island which is subjected to strong erosional pressures,
accounting for a loss of approximately 2 m of shoreline a year .
Tuktoyaktuk Island provides protection for the inner harbour from severe wave action.
Given the current rates of erosion, it is probable that the island will be eroded to a low barrier island along much of its length in
30 50 years.
If the island erodes away or is breached, there is the potential for greater negative effects such as erosion of the inner harbour
coastline or damage to infrastructure during storm surges or normal wave action, especially with rising sea levels.
The implications for both the community and the harbour of this increased wave height need to be studied further as the
combination of the communitys very shallow shoreline and increasing wave action can lead to greater inland reach for the
waters of the Beaufort and consequent local flooding and damage.


The Base for the Beaufort

The 2012 study National Climate Assessment Technical Input Report: Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities looked
at the probable impacts of climate change - related sea state changes on Lower 48 coastal communities and ports and
concluded that:
Much of the nations transportation infrastructure services the population along the coasts and terminates at or follows the coast.
A study of potential transportation impacts in the central Gulf Coast between Galveston, TX and Mobile, AL found that 27 percent of
major roads, 9 percent of rail lines, and 72 percent of ports are at or below 122 centimeters. A 7-meter storm surge in this area puts
over half of the major highways, nearly half of the railways, 29 airports, and nearly all of the ports at risk of flooding.
The report went on to say that Sea-level rise and an increase in the intensity of coastal storms could have substantial impacts on
U.S. port facilities. Major storms cause many types of damage to ports, including: direct damage to port infrastructure, release of
hazardous materials stored on the port, loss of jobs, supply chain interruptions, downtime, debris on surrounding waterways and
neighborhoods, damage to cargo, and others.
The ESRF 179 Report was aware of the possibility of storm impacts on Tuktoyaktuk Harbour and recommended that:
1) Modeling of the effects related to the breaching of Tuktoyaktuk Harbour would be valuable in evaluating the longer-term
potential of Tuktoyaktuk Harbour as a working harbour and/or allow for mitigation to be developed to prevent increased wave and
storm surge severity, which would allow for the continued safe use of the harbour.
(2) Although not mentioned in the workshop or during interviews, the re-installation of a tide gauge in Tuktoyaktuk Harbour would
be valuable.
In addition to the tide gauge, the development of real-time oceanographic modeling and prediction of waves and currents would
enhance ship safety, infrastructure planning for offshore and shore base sites and potentially allow for improved information for
making decisions for entering or leaving Tuktoyaktuk or other harbours in the area.
The first recommendation is, in fact, already being addressed through the Base for the Beaufort Project.

Tuktoyaktuks shoreline


The Base for the Beaufort

In order to better understand the potential impacts of increased flooding along the communitys coastline, and how best to
protect critical infrastructure, both municipal and port facilities, against such flooding, the Base for the Beaufort Project has
been working with Texas A & M University on applying that universitys Community Resilience Index Project to the Hamlet of
To date, the Hamlet Council has responded to the continuing erosion along its northwest edge of its coastline by limiting any
development in that area and attempting to buttress the eroding shoreline.
This area is the one most obviously impacted by erosion but analysis of past storms and the presence of large volumes of
logs far inshore from the communitys coastline show that the combination of high waves and low topography allows for
significant periodic flooding throughout the community.
The Base for the Beaufort project will continue to work with Texas A & M University, the Arctic Energy Alliance and NCPC to
identify critical infrastructure and develop a resilience analysis aimed at protecting this infrastructure.
The results of this analysis will then be assessed against the recommendations of the National Climate Change Adaptation
Research Facility work entitled Enhancing the resilience of seaports to a changing climate: research synthesis and
implications for policy and practice, a study completed this year by RMIT University.
The second recommendation is also already being partly addressed through the work of Professor David Atkinson,
Department of Geography, University of Victoria.
Professor Atkinson and his team, with the support of, among others, the Base for the Beaufort Project, has received funding to
undertake a multi-year study entitled User-driven monitoring of adverse marine and weather states, Eastern Beaufort Sea.
The study will seek to understand what large scale weather patterns can adversely impact sealift activities and marine
transport in the Eastern Beaufort Sea region. This project targets the question of impactful weather events as they affect
end-users: coastal communities, industrial/marine shipping and emergency response operators in this region by identifying
the primary weather patterns that bring problems and by improving end-users access to information that could assist their
operations. (A copy of Professor Atkinsons work plan is in the Appendix.)
Further research work is currently being conducted by each of NRCan and Transport Canada to better define the structure of
the current harbour and its approaches, both of which have been in-filled with sediment since they were last dredged In the
1980s. (Details in the Appendix)


The Base for the Beaufort

What is a Port?
Now that we have some better idea of the geographic environment in which a Tuktoyaktuk Port will have to operate, lets look
at what such a port might look like.
It may be useful to begin with some definitions.
A harbour is a body of water where sea-going vessels can seek shelter from stormy weather. Harbours can be natural or
artificial with the former naturally formed by surrounding land forms while the latter is deliberately constructed by means of
seawalls, breakwaters or jettys.
A port is a facility for loading and unloading vessels, providing multiple services to those vessels and is, generally, located
within a harbour.
In order to better evaluate the suitability of Tuktoyaktuk as a support base for offshore exploration, we can look at the
characteristics considered necessary for a useful harbour and then at the components expected in a working port.
On a broad, geographic basis, the Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System Study conducted by US Army Corps of Engineers and
the Alaska State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and completed this past January, noted five needed
criteria against which Alaskan port sites were to be evaluated.
These were:
Port Proximity to Mission (mining, oil and gas)
Intermodal Connections
Upland Support
Natural Water Depth
Navigation Accessibility
The detailed explanation of each criterion follows:
Port Proximity was measured in distance from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas endeavors; mining operations
and potential; existing oil spill response equipment; community resupply; and shipping lanes.
Intermodal connections for jet service or C-130 gravel runways were measured within 100 miles of the communities.
Consideration was also given to the potential for road and rail connections.
Upland support was measured by whether the community is considered a hub, one that supports other communities in the
area. A major hub supports many other communities, a regional hub supports the immediate geographic area, a minor hub
supports a couple of other communities.
Water depth was measured as a function of natural depth from shore.
Using the natural water depth was deemed appropriate as a means of avoiding ongoing maintenance dredging and cost.
Minus 35-feet mean lower low water (MLLW) and minus 45-feet MLLW were deemed appropriate depth measures to capture
suitability for various deep-draft port users.
Navigation accessibility was measured as very good, good, medium, low, very low, and potential for ice season (months free
of ice) and other operational considerations (weather, wind, wave, tides, and currents).
It is interesting to note that of the five elements outlined above in the Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System Study, Tuk Harbour
could safely be said to meet to some degree the first three but be lacking in the last two.

The Base for the Beaufort

Port proximity, intermodal connections and upland support are three criteria that Tuk Harbour either meets now or, with the
completion of the Inuvik to Tuk highway, will in the near future.
On the other hand, the harbour does suffer in matters of water depth as we have seen and, in common with large parts of the
Arctic does not have high levels of navigation accessibility, a lack that is even more worrisome given the water depth limitations.
Water depth is an issue that can be addressed in two ways, the most obvious being extensive dredging to increase the draft
available for deep sea ships and the other being to move the port to where the water is deep enough to handle these ships.
We will deal with both later in the report.
The issue of navigation accessibility is one common to many parts of the opening Arctic seas.
A July, 2012 conference sponsored by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science - Safe
Navigation in the U.S. Arctic - noted that safe navigation of vessels operating in the Arctic is a concern of all the Arctic nations.
The Conference observed that even with reduced ice levels, the Arctic is a harsh and dangerous environment for navigation, with
frequent extreme weather and ocean conditions.
In common with American waters, in the Canadian Arctic there are little or no critical infrastructure assets to support vessel
navigation or respond to emergencies. Coastal waters, where most vessels now operate, are poorly charted, lack aids to
navigation and ports of refuge, and have limited communications infrastructure.
The Conference went on to list the need for navigation services, a need that is well beyond the obvious provision of nautical
charts. The provision of readily available, up-to date navigation services is critical for:
Vessel Traffic Management;
Emergency Response Capabilities;
Information and Data Needs to better provide timely wind, wave, ice, and weather data.
And is dependent on:
Current and accurate charts and water level information;
Reliable and rapid data delivery to users;
Improved accuracy and resolution;
Improved environmental data portals and access;
Established voyage planning standards and requirements; and
Standardization of data to enhance communications systems.
The development of the required navigation charts is a long term project but one that clearly needs to begin as soon as possible.


The Base for the Beaufort

What Does a Port Do?

Turning to the components of a working port, likely the best, most comprehensive definition of a deepwater port and all its
characteristics is found in Title 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS, 33 United States Code:
deepwater port
(A) means any fixed or floating manmade structure other than a vessel, or any group of such structures, that are located beyond
State seaward boundaries and that are used or intended for use as a port or terminal for the transportation, storage, or further
handling of oil or natural gas for transportation to any State, except as otherwise provided in section 1522 of this title, and for other
uses not inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter, including transportation of oil or natural gas from the United States outer
continental shelf;
(B) includes all components and equipment, including pipelines, pumping stations, service platforms, buoys, mooring lines, and
similar facilities to the extent they are located seaward of the high water mark;
(C) in the case of a structure used or intended for such use with respect to natural gas, includes all components and equipment,
including pipelines, pumping or compressor stations, service platforms, buoys, mooring lines, and similar facilities that are proposed
or approved for construction and operation as part of a deepwater port, to the extent that they are located seaward of the high
water mark and do not include interconnecting facilities; Title 33, 33 USC 1502
The attributes set out in the American legislation are consistent with the expressed needs of industry in the workshop that
helped to inform the work of ESRF 179. That report noted that:
Industry also indicated that a broad range of services and infrastructure need to be provided including (but not limited to): fresh
water, fuel, fuel storage, storage and laydown areas, maintenance and repair facilities, security, camp facilities and camp support
services, waste disposal facilities, anchoring locations and vessel
maneuvering areas.
What Offshore Activities Might a Port be Called on to Support?
The nature of both the port and the services it may be called
on to provide are obviously influenced to a large degree by the
nature of the offshore exploration and development activities
that may, or may not, occur in the offshore.
The 2009 Beaufort Sea Strategic Regional Plan of Action looked
at some of the likely activities in the offshore and developed a
scenario as follows:
The rate of delineation and production drilling is highly dependent
on the size and complexity of the structures discovered by
exploration drilling. It is estimated that production drilling might
occur 10-15 years in the future; therefore no estimates on specific numbers of production wells have been made.
In the offshore, these wells would connect to single production platforms.
Beyond 2016, it is plausible that there will be an increased interest in developing the known oil resources in the offshore. The
largest discovered oil resource is at Amauligak (associated with natural gas), but there is potential for other significant oil
discoveries in the offshore.
The specific types of activities that may occur in the BSStRPA study area are listed in Table 2. Over the next 10 years, the focus of
activity will likely be on natural gas exploration and development.


The Base for the Beaufort

Table 2: Potential Future Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Activities in the Canadian Beaufort Sea


2D and 3D seismic - near shore

Vibroseis vehicles on ice, wherein the ice must be frozen to the bottom
Airguns and geophones drilled through the ice in <20 m water depth, one air gun
or receiver per hole
Shot holes drilled through the ice in <20 m water depth with charge size limited
by Department of Fisheries and Oceans pressure restrictions
Ocean bottom cables with mini Airguns used during open water season in
<70 m water depths

2D and 3D offshore seismic - deep water Seismic vessels using air gun arrays and streamers during the open water
season in >20 m water depths
Wellsite surveys

High resolution seismic and geotechnical surveys

Exploration drilling - landfast ice zone

If conditions permit, drilling from spray ice pads grounded in <15 m water depths
If conditions permit, drilling from spray ice pads floating in >15 m water depth
within the land fast ice zone
Construction of ice roads to shore

Offshore exploration drilling - shallow

water zone (including land fast ice zone)

Drilling from gravel or sand islands in <20 m water depth with a surface blowout
preventer (BOP) and up to 12 month season
Drilling from gravity based structures (GBS) like the Caisson Retained Island, or
the Concrete Island Drilling System in <20 m water depth with a surface BOP and
a 12 month season

Offshore exploration drilling - deep

water zone

Drilling from GBS like the Steel Drilling Caisson (SDC) or the Molikpaq in >10 m
to <40 m water depths, with a surface BOP and up to 12 month season
Drilling from floating drill ships like the Kulluk in >15 m water depths with a
subsea BOP and a 3-6 month season

Offshore drilling support

Small and heavy lift helicopters

Supply vessels and barges
Ice breakers for towing, anchor handling, and ice management
Spill response vessels and equipment
Marine maintenance facilities (i.e. floating dry-docks)

Offshore development - shallow

water zone

Gravel islands in <20 m water depths

Causeways or subsea pipelines to shore

Offshore development - shallow

water zone

Offshore development - deep water zone

A gravity-based system (GBS) in <60m water depths

The GBS may need an ocean bottom excavation and sand or gravel foundation
Directionally drilled production wells from GBS
Subsea pipelines to shore
Floating development drilling
Subsea wells and satellite well clusters in >60 m water depths with subsea
gathering lines
Subsea pipelines to onshore processing facilities


The Base for the Beaufort



Offshore development - deep water zone

Floating development drilling

Subsea wells and satellite well clusters in >60 m water depths with subsea
gathering pipelines to the GBS which is located in <60 m water depths and,
Subsea pipelines to shore or,
Crude oil storage on the GBS, with ice breaking crude oil tanker off take

Offshore development - deep water zone Floating development drilling

Subsea wells and satellite well clusters in >60 m water depths with subsea
gathering pipelines to the GBS which is located in <60 m water depths

Subsea pipelines to shore with;

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility onshore, and ice breaking LNG tanker off take
Subsea oil, gas and Natural Gas Liquids Dredging, pipe laying, hydro testing, backfilling of trenches
gathering and transportation pipelines Pipeline landfalls either trenched onto shore or directionally drilled from shore
Offshore production support
Small and heavy lift helicopters

Icebreakers for ice management

Supply vessels, with oil spill response capability and barges

Marine Maintenance Facilities (i.e. floating dry docks) and other repair shops

Floating well workover, wireline and other well servicing equipment

Marine and logistics bases, including diesel storage and storage for oil spill

Helicopter support bases

Camps with offices, control room and medical facilities

Multiple storage and warehousing facilities for companies providing drilling and
production support services
Subsea Remote Operated Vehicle inspections of pipelines, the GBS and subsea

Subsea multi-beam and side scanning sonar inspections of pipelines, the GBS
and subsea satellites

Diver inspections of pipelines, GBS and subsea satellites
Abandonment activities
This area is uncertain at this time. Abandonment and reclamation are regulated
and industry will work with regulators to develop appropriate plans.


The Base for the Beaufort

This listing provides a good overview of possible exploration and development activities although it should be noted, as an
indication of how uncertain any forecasting of activity may be, that the Plan believed that the focus of activity will likely be on
natural gas exploration and development.
It should also be noted that there is at present a great deal of uncertainty over the future of Beaufort Sea exploration. The
National Energy Boards Same Season Relief Well review is only just beginning and a decision on the acceptance of an
alternative to the relief well model will not be known for some months.
In addition, there will undoubtedly be increasing interest in Beaufort exploration by non-governmental organizations such as
Greenpeace, WWF and the NRDC and we can expect many legal and procedural challenges will be brought forward by these
and other group in an effort to slow or stop the exploration program from proceeding.
How Does Tuk Harbour Meet the Challenge?
The Report to this point has outlined both the opportunities available to a northern port facility to support Beaufort Sea
exploration and the impediments that limit the ability of Tuk Harbour to fully realize those opportunities.
The biggest impediment, as we have seen, is the shallow water depth in the approaches leading into Tuk Harbour, a situation
that limits movements of deeper draft vessels both into and out of the harbour.6
This is a long-standing issue and one that has been studied on numerous occasions generally with the conclusion that the
required dredging to bring the approaches up to standard would be both very costly and potentially environmentally damaging.
The Base for the Beaufort project has been working with Boskalis Canada Dredging to better understand the scope and cost
of dredging the entrances into Tuk Harbour.
The company has prepared a Class 5 estimate for dredging a channel from Tuk Harbour to the deeper waters of the Beaufort Sea.
This work would include a 22 km long channel, some 75 metres wide that would see the bottom depth increased from the
current 4 metres to 6 metres.
Boskalis Canada believes the work could be competed over four seasons at a preliminary estimate of $25 million per season
for a total cost of $100 million.
The continuing erosion and deposition of material along the coastline and in the approaches, the natural consequence of the
deltaic environment that controls much of the shallow Beaufort Sea waters, means that any dredging program would be both
extensive in scale and ongoing.
On the other hand, Boskalis also believes that much of the dredged material could be used as infill along Tuktoyaktuks
foreshore to help limit erosion.
The company notes that this infill is an example of a sustainable Building with Nature approach, one that aims to increase
the overall value of the marine infrastructure while reducing construction and dredging costs.
Boskalis can provide a more detailed design and cost estimate if requested, at a cost of $150,000.
It should be noted that Imperial Oil has indicated in its Beaufort Sea Project Description that Tuk Harbour will require
dredging to make it fully serviceable for the companys operations.
Given the current uncertainty about the companys exploration activities, the extent of the dredging, the use of the dredged
material and the cost of the program have not been defined.
6 A typical bulk carrier has a draft of 14 m; a container ship, 7 m; and an icebreaker 10-11 m


The Base for the Beaufort

Two possible Development Models

Rather than take the approach of doing whatever it takes to make Tuk Harbour work for possible deep water exploration and
development, there are two alternative approaches that would benefit from further study.
One approach is to have the port do what it can with its present configuration and not worry too much about full-scale
development of the port in advance of uncertain offshore activity.
Well call this one the shallow water model.
The other approach is one originally developed by Paul Soros (brother of financier George Soros) the founder of Soros Associates,
a company that has dominated the world port-building industry through its innovative solutions to shipping challenges.
The concept, thought Mr. Soros, was a simple one: if large cargo ships could not get to shallow-water piers to load and unload,
than take the piers to the ships.
This model has since been used by the Soros companies throughout the world to develop numerous bulk transfer shipping
facilities and it could be used to inform Tuk Harbour development.
This is the deep water model.
The Shallow Water Model
While the main focus of Beaufort exploration in the years to come has been the deep water exploration licenses held by BP,
Esso and Chevron, it is important to remember that (a) all Beaufort exploration to date has taken place in relatively shallow
waters and (b) the seven exploration licenses currently held by Franklin Petroleum are in shallow, near-shore waters as is one
license held by Chevron and one by ConocoPhillips.
In addition, the only offshore well drilled in the Beaufort in the past 20 years was also a shallow water well, Devon Paktoa C-60
drilled in the winter of 2005-06, using the SDC, a bottom-founded drilling rig.
As it has shown in the past, Tuk Harbour, in its current configuration, would be capable of supporting activity in these shallow
waters, assuming some upgrades to its shore-based facilities.
But, while the near shore exploration licenses show some promise of activity (the Franklin licenses need to be worked on
over the next few years to keep the licenses active), the absence of a pipeline to move any near shore discoveries to southern
markets could serve to limit the longer-term economic opportunities available to the community and the harbour.
However, both Chevron and Imperial Oil have indicated in their project descriptions for deep water Beaufort exploration
that they will use Tuk Harbour as a supply and support base although until their exploration programs are better defined the
extent of that use is not clear.
Alternatively, as a receiving and trans-shipment point, the harbour could continue to handle barge traffic both down and up
the Mackenzie and on to other communities in the Beaufort Sea.
It could also serve as a base for oilspill response equipment whose prime function would be the protection of the harbour
from spills within the harbour and the protection of both the harbour and the near coastline from offshore spills that might
reach the community.


The Base for the Beaufort

The Deep Water Model

Interviews conducted with mariners who have operated in the Beaufort Sea and discussions with staff at Soros Associates
have raised the alternative of establishing a mid-way point model to service the needs of the deeper water exploration
activities in the Beaufort.
Simply put, vessels capable of operating in the shallow approaches to Tuk Harbour would be used to move supplies and
support to a mid-way point, a semi-permanent or permanent transfer point in the deeper water, from which they would in
turn be carried by deeper draft vessels to the required drill site.
Likewise, waste materiel from the drill site would be shipped back to the transfer point and then moved by means of shallow
draft vessels on to the harbour for disposition.
There are two options for the transfer point one seasonal and one permanent.
In the first instance, a bottom - founded vessel like the SDC could be placed in deeper water to act as the open water transfer
point and then moved to shore as the ice season encroached.
This model assumes that the deep water drillships and support vessels would cease operations in the winter months and
move to a suitable mooring and maintenance harbour.
Unlike drilling operations off Newfoundland on Canadas East Coast, where the rig is built to remain on station year round,
and is designed to withstand an iceberg impact event, a drilling vessel in the Beaufort Sea winter would be subject to
sustained load pressures from the ice pack that would likely prove too great to bear, hence the need to move off the drill
site during the winter months.
A more permanent structure, similar to the Dome Petroleum designed (although never put in place) Artificial Production and
Loading Atoll (APLA), would be an example of a permanent facility.
The APLA was planned as an offshore, bottom-founded, year-round production, storage and loading facility for Beaufort
development in the early 1980s. Dome envisaged an atoll being developed by a super-dredge, Class 6 ice-breaker capable
vessel that would operate all year round and dredge in water depths up to 80 m.
In the Dome model, some 80 to 120 million cubic metres of dredging would be required to build and maintain the structure.
(for perspective, the Port of Rotterdam dredges about 20 million cubic metres per year to maintain the required draft).
The substantial volume of dredge materiel needed for an APLA is a function of the water depth as, generally, as water depth
increases, island freeboard requirements also increase and, in turn, influence construction time/cost. 7
The Dome model saw a continuing role for Tuk Harbour as a shallow draft, seasonal supply base and as a year-round field
office in support of the offshore effort.
So whether a movable or a fixed structure in the deeper waters, and both options will require more study, the point is to
remember that a Tuk Port need not be fully within the Tuk Harbour.

7 Arctic Offshore Technology Assessment of Exploration and Production Options for Cold Regions of the US Outer Continental Shelf


The Base for the Beaufort

Whos in Charge, Here?

The issue of a management structure for a Tuk harbour has been raised a number of times and has been reviewed by a
number of parties.
ESRF 175 notes that the following studies have been conducted over the past thirty years:
Tuktoyaktuk Harbour Masterplan: Final Report, 1980. Acres Consulting Services. Completed on behalf of Town Planning
and Lands, Government of the NWT.
Tuktoyaktuk Harbour East Shore Land Use Plan, 1987. UMA Engineering Ltd. Completed on behalf of Municipal and
Community Affairs, Government of the NWT.
Feasibility Study to Resolve the Tuktoyaktuk and McKinley Bay Harbour Authority Issue, 1988. Canada Research Institute
and Sypher-Mueller International Inc. Completed on behalf of the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk.
Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk Harbour Authority Study, 1991. David Nairne and Associates Ltd. and Sypher-Mueller International
Inc. Completed on behalf of the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk.
Brief in Support of the Establishment of the Tuktoyaktuk Harbour Authority, 1992. David Nairne and Associates Ltd.,
Northern Oil and Gas Action Program.
While these various reports and studies have suggested a number of alternative management structures, none has developed
over the years for a variety of reasons including lack of interest, lack of marine activity and jurisdictional limitations on the
Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuks authority.
This last issue was raised at the ESRF 175 community workshop held in February, 2010:
According to Transport Canadas comments at the workshop, there is no existing regulatory mechanism for Tuktoyaktuk Harbour to
obtain federal port authority status.
Unfortunately, the notes from the workshop did not indicate why the Transport Canada representative reached this conclusion
and this issue was further researched by the Base for the Beaufort project legal team during 2013.
The memo by Lawson Lundell (attached in the Appendix) concluded that:
Based on the criteria set out in the Canada Marine Act, the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk cannot currently qualify as a port authority as it would
not meet the minimum statutory requirements. A Public Port, however, could be created by the Governor in Council by regulation.
Tuktoyaktuk would have some ability to influence the development of a Public Port. It could do so in two ways; (1) by entering into
a service agreement to provide services, rights or privileges to the Public Port, or (2) to pass bylaws pursuant to its bylaw making
power set out in the Hamlets Act.
Bylaws are likely more reliable and flexible than service agreements for long term regulation of the operation of a port. Bylaws
would give the Hamlet a way to influence the development of a Public Port in a variety of different ways, provided that the Hamlet
does not try and regulate the core of the federal power to regulate navigation or shipping.


The Base for the Beaufort

It may be that a port in Tuktoyaktuk would not at present meet the criteria as set out in the Canada Marine Act, to wit:
8. (1) The Minister may issue letters patent that take effect on the date stated in them incorporating a port authority without
share capital for the purpose of operating a particular port in Canada if the Minister is satisfied that the port
(a) is, and is likely to remain, financially self-sufficient;
(b) is of strategic significance to Canadas trade;
(c) is linked to a major rail line or a major highway infrastructure; and
(d) has diversified traffic.
Obviously, criterion (c) is problematic at present but, with the building of the Inuvik to Tuk highway, this criterion will be met.
The other three criteria can be argued to exist or can be accommodated.
The community will continue to work with Lawson Lundell to better define its management goals and determine the
appropriate management model for the future of the harbour.
What Would a Port Authority Do?
According to the Canada Gazette:
The Canada Marine Act gives Canadian port authorities the general duty to take appropriate measures for the maintenance of
order and the safety of persons and property at their ports, and powers to control ship traffic for the purposes of promoting safe and
efficient navigation and environmental protection.
The Port Authorities Operations Regulations (the Regulations) provide a framework within which these duties and powers are to
be carried out. In particular, they set up a scheme that enables the port authorities to authorize certain activities in respect of the
navigable waters and the works and activities on properties managed, held, or occupied by the port.
The specific nature of the management model chosen by the community will depend to a great extent on what is expected
of the port.
One can consider a simple four step process to arrive at a community consensus:
What is the goal of the port management?
Oil spill prevention and control; revenue maximization; ensuring traditional use; limiting environmental impacts.
How will this goal be reached?
What technologies might be used; what manner of controls could be applied?
Who should pay the costs?
How should the costs of regulatory compliance be allocated among port users? The costs of infrastructure? Services?
Who should decide on the specifics of the management regime?
To the extent there is room for local initiative, what level of government should govern the port authoritys practices? 8

8 These four headings are adapted from U.S. Government Nuclear Energy Regulatory Models


The Base for the Beaufort

Would There be Support for a Port Authority?

ESRF 175 was quite clear that: There was a need for a harbour management authority to manage activity in the harbour to meet
all parties needs and concerns.
And, further: In general, community interviewees and workshop participants are supportive of the development of Tuktoyaktuk Harbour.
The workshop report went on to note that community representatives expect that the land-based supporting harbour activity
would be incorporated into land use plans completed by the Hamlet and Inuvialuit Land Administration (ILA).
And that community representatives would expect to play a role in any harbour development planning:
Workshop participants felt that a cooperative harbour management committee or board, which would include industry and
community representatives, could be established. This committee could help identify the extent of the harbour operations that the
community would want to address/manage.
As will be described later in this report, the Tuktoyaktuk Hamlet Council and the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation will be
working together on a broad-based community development plan. The issue of port management will be a component of
that joint work.
The Base for the Beaufort Project will review a number of alternative port authority models including East Coast Canada,
Scotland and the recently announced Alaskan initiative proposed by Senator Mark Begich.
This information will then be provided to the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation, the Hamlet Council, Tuktoyaktuk Hunters
and Trappers Committee and the Inuvialuit Land Administration and will be the subject of a more detailed community
planning workshop in early 2015.

Were All in This Together

The primary focus of the paper thus far has been on Tuk Harbour as a support base
for offshore oil and gas exploration and development but there are other potential
user and uses of the harbour.
The attraction of having multiple-users for a port facility in a high cost
environment is obvious increased usage should improve the economies of scale
of the port operations.

Difficult transport contributes to high cost of goods

In addition, new uses of the harbour and port facilities might result in lower costs for transportation of goods both into and
out of the Beaufort Sea communities.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea
As referenced earlier in this report, Tuk Harbour should be seen as one element in a supply chain that is just now being
built one that will, with the construction of the Inuvik to Tuk all-weather highway, dramatically alter the transportation
infrastructure and its cost structure for the Western Arctic.
A recent study by the Conference Board of Canadas Centre for the North looked at trucking costs in the NWT as they now are.
The study, Ground Transportation Costs to and from the Northwest Territories concluded that:
The average costs of shipping goods to and from the NWT is consistently higher than it is when compared with shipping goods to
and from neighboring provinces or territories. While care must be taken to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, there generally
appears to be a premium of at least 30 per cent and up to 100 per cent or more for shipping goods to the NWT when compared with
destinations that are a similar distance from the origin. When shipping from the NWT, the premium is even higher.

The Base for the Beaufort

The Centre went on to note that this shipping premium was the result of a combination of cost factors that are more
pronounced in the NWT than in southern Canada. These factors include:
Shipment size. Truckload (TL) shipments will be cheaper per tonne or by volume than less-than truckload (LTL) shipments.
Within LTL, larger shipments will generally be cheaper by weight or volume as well.
Length of haul. A longer length of haul will generally mean a lower cost per kilometre, but only up to a certain point.
Commodity/trailer type. Dangerous goods, specialized goods and refrigerated (particularly fresh) products will typically cost
more to ship. This is due in part to the fact that they require specialized trailers that are more costly to purchase or operate.
Backhaul opportunities. If there are few backhaul opportunities then the backhaul fuel costs (at least) have to be factored into
the head haul shipment. Even where there is a backhaul opportunity if the driver has to wait a longer period of time to receive
the shipment, his or her time costs and costs associated with lower equipment utilization must be factored in. Therefore,
markets with balanced OD opportunities are likely to see lower costs (all things being equal).
Traffic density. Dense corridors will have more carriers in the market and typically have more capacity available. (Although
extremely dense corridors subject to congestion may see their costs rise as a result)
Short term capacity. When there are sudden shifts in demand carriers will often cut or raise rates in order to manage their capacity.
Fuel costs/taxes. Fuel costs and excise taxes vary by province/state
Even a cursory review of the above factors will show that an expansion of Tuk Harbour into an offshore support facility,
coupled with all-weather road access to and from the Beaufort, will have a positive impact on the various cost components.
Shipment size, length of haul and backhaul opportunities can all be expected to improve if we move to a year-round port
operation with offshore supply in the open water season and inventory build-up and waste removal in the winter months.
At present, there are generally 14 to 15 seasonal tug-barge trips down the Mackenzie to Tuktoyaktuk although this number is
expected to double buy 2020, depending on resource development activity.
This opportunity would seem to argue for an increased freight trans-shipment ability at Tuk Harbour to take advantage of the
new road access but the road is not all that smooth.
First, any increase in road freight may have negative implications for the existing barge operations that have been a part of
the harbour for over 80 years. The gain for the one may result in a loss for the other.
On the other hand, the barge traffic may not quietly give up the freight opportunities to the trucks for just as climate change
will affect the waters of the Beaufort Sea, it will also lead to a longer open water barging season on the Mackenzie River. This
longer season, estimated to be between six and nine weeks, could in turn see a 50% increase in barge movements on the
river, improving the competitive position of moving freight by river versus that of by road.
The situation is, to use an obvious phrase, a fluid one, and will need more detailed analysis before any firm decisions as to
building local freight-forwarding infrastructure are made.
Support for Deep Sea Shipping
Similarly, any optimism about the volume of deep-sea shipping that may begin to use the waters of the Beaufort Sea as a route
between Asia and Europe, and its impact on Tuk Harbour, needs to be tempered with a closer look at the hoped-for cost savings.
A recent analysis of the economics of the Arctic sea routes in the Proceedings magazine of the U.S. Naval institute made a
clear distinction between two types of Arctic shipping destination shipping and transit shipping and concluded that
while the former would likely increase in volume as the waters became more ice-free, the economics of the latter would
remain challenging.9


The Base for the Beaufort

The Arctic Institutes 2012 study, Canada in the Arctic - Arctic Shipping: Routes, Forecasts, and Politics, looked at this issue in
some detail and concluded that:
Although ships on these routes will see generally easier navigating conditions, processes of climate change also change the nature
and severity of many risks to marine traffic.
For example, rather than being confronted with an extensive ice pack that necessitates icebreaker escort, ships will be confronted
will multi-year ice in low concentration that is difficult to detect, and extreme variability of conditions from one year to the next.
The paradoxical situation may arise that despite decreased ice extent and ice thickness there will be a continued if not even an
increasing demand for icebreaking and other navigational support for shipping activities in the north, also because of the increased
traffic on some routes.
In general, the increase in marine traffic on some Arctic routes together with more frequent and more intense hazards like more
mobile ice and increased winds, waves and surges will increase the demand for marine services in the north. This includes for
example updated navigational charts, up to date weather forecasts, ice reconnaissance and forecasting, icebreaking support,
search-and-rescue capabilities, marine traffic surveillance, control and enforcement, ports for fuelling and cargo loading, ice-class
vessels and specialised crews.
A well-supplied harbour/port facility in Tuktoyaktuk would help to fill many of the needs identified in the Arctic Institute study.
While Tuktoyaktuk will undoubtedly experience an increase in road-borne
tourism following the opening of the Tuk to Inuvik highway, there is also
potential for increased ship-based tourism.
The Northwest Passage in particular and the Arctic in general is becoming
more attractive to cruise ship companies and we are seeing increasing
numbers (albeit still small) of cruise ships in the Beaufort Sea.
The Silver Sea Explorer10 is scheduled to call in Tuktoyaktuk in late August of
2014 and other, larger vessels such as the Crystal Serenity11 will transit the
Passage in 2015 with calls in each of Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet.
There are clearly challenges in accommodating such vessels in the limited harbours of the Northwest Territories and it appears
that a variety of ship to shore transfers will be used to bring passengers to the communities.
These two ships appear to be the beginning of annual voyages through the Passage and, if successful, could bring additional
traffic and economic opportunities to Tuktoyaktuk and other northern communities.
Oilspill Response
The Arctic Institute study mentioned above went on to review the need for a strong environmental protection regime in the Arctic:
A further argument is the necessity for strong national environmental protection of the Arctic region, which would become an
increasingly important task given the dangers and risks connected to a proliferation of international shipping in the North. Such risks
are, for example, the higher likelihood of environmentally harmful events such as oil spills, poaching and contamination, spread of
new species and diseases, the rising possibility of shipwrecks, smuggling, illegal immigration and even threats to national security.
Given the transboundary effects of environmental hazards, a strong environmental protection of the Canadian North would
hereby not only be in the Canadian interest but also in the interest of all humankind.

10 Silver Sea Explorer. 108 m long, draft of 5 m, 132 passengers & 115 crew
11 Crystal Serenity:250 m long, draft of 8 m, 1000 passengers, 655 crew


The Base for the Beaufort

As Prime Minister Harper stated in 2008, Canada takes responsibility for environmental protection and enforcement in our Arctic
waters. This magnificent and unspoiled ecological region is one for which we will demonstrate stewardship on behalf of our country,
and indeed, all of humanity.
This is a heavy responsibility to bear and one that, again, a well supplied harbour/port facility in Tuktoyaktuk would help to carry.
Developing an Oilspill Response Capability
The Base for the Beaufort Project has worked with the community of Tuktoyaktuk, the National Energy Board and Aurora
College to better understand the need for and the provision of oilspill response capabilities in the community.
The Project determined very early in its research into oilspill response that any deep water capability was best left to the
national organizations such as the Canadian Coast Guard and the National Energy Board. The most appropriate role for a
community-based response capacity would be in protecting Tuktoyaktuk Harbour and the communitys near-shore from spills
within the harbour or those from the offshore as they approached the community.
This conclusion leads to a plan for the development over the next few years of a community-based oilspill response group
that would be available on a full-time basis and would have responsibility for the Harbour and the near-shore. This group
could, over time, develop the capacity to support oil exploration and shipping companies should the need arise.
The Base for the Beaufort Project has now developed a two-part plan for the establishment of a harbour spill response team.
(the full details are in the Appendix)
Phase One would cover the next two years with the expectation of industrys decision to confirm its position regarding
Beaufort offshore exploration in 2016.
The period leading up to that date would be used to develop a range of long-term community options, the level of involvement
they desire and the implications of having a competent oil spill response training programme and facility in their community.
In addition, given the current absence of people with marine or environmental training and suitable facilities to house a
response centre in the community, there is a need to have a jump start on basic planning before industrys 2016 decision to
allow for quick and effective implementation of training plans.
The period beyond 2016 would see the full development of a community-based oilspill response capability as outlined in the
attached plan.
The Military
And, finally, as an additional user of the port, we could look to the Canadian military and the Coast Guard.
A recent op-ed in the Hill Times by Colonel (retd) Pierre Leblanc made the point that we as a country are lacking in our ability
to respond to emergencies in the Arctic.
First, Colonel Leblanc set out the nature of our problem:
Canadas ability to deal with a maritime incident in the Arctic is also lacking. There are no ports in the Canadian Arctic, and during
the shipping season there are only a handful of icebreakers to deal with an area larger than continental Europe. The future looks even
bleaker: all the icebreakers are nearing the end of their design life, yet there is only one ship replacement program in effect at this time.
He then proposed a solution:
One way to increase Canadas capability to deal with either an air or marine accident in the Arctic would be to establish three
protected ports in the Arctic: one on its West Coast, one in the center of the Arctic archipelago and one on the East Coast. ...For the
West Coast port, I suggest Tuktoyaktuk.

The Base for the Beaufort

The Colonel went on to describe how such a facility might be developed:

There are several reasons that could bring governments and the private sector to develop this infrastructure, which could support
many government and commercial activities.
The territorial and federal governments are presently funding a road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk. This means that a future port
would be connected by road to the southern part of Canada.
The Canadian Forces have a North Warning System radar in Tuktoyaktuk. The Forces could also use the port as a resupply facility
for Arctic patrol vessels. The Coast Guard, for its part, could pre-position environmental response equipment there. The port could
support SAR activity. It would be a facility that an increasing number of cruise ships plying Arctic waters could use for a variety of
purposes: repairs, bilge water management, passenger on/off loading, refueling, and so on.
The B4B Project will continue to engage with both the military and the Coast Guard to argue the case for the use of
Tuktoyaktuks harbour.
While there is still some hope that the needed military vessels will be built within the next few years, the decision to move
ahead with their construction clearly rests with the federal government.

The Next Steps

If Tuktoyaktuk Harbour is to reach its full potential as a supply, support and response Base for the Beaufort, it will need to
address in more detail both the challenges it faces and the opportunities it hopes to realize.
We know that, generally speaking, an Arctic marine facility is technically feasible.
The Arctic Offshore Technology Assessment paper referenced in this report concluded that:
The technical feasibility of marine terminals in arctic areas has been established through successful experience in a wide range of
facilities. These include the port structures and terminals in Nome, Cook Inlet, Anchorage and Valdez (Alaska), Godthab and DeLong
(Greenland), Nanasivik (North Baffin Island, Canada), St.David de Levis and Caps Noirs (Quebec), Norwegian and Russian ports in
the Barents Sea (Murmansk, Arkhangelsk), and Magadan and Petropavlovsk (Okhotsk Sea).
The greatest challenge to an arctic port, the Assessment concluded, is that the marine structures are to be operated and
maintained under adverse ice conditions.
But, the Assessment went on to say that:
A general review of experience in operation of high-latitude oil and gas marine terminals indicates that existing technology of port
structures design and construction is sufficient to support operations in the Alaskan OCS.
Our challenge, then, over the next few years will be not so much understanding the physical port structures that will need to
be developed, but coming to terms with the Arctic and business environment in which they will operate.
Broadly speaking this will mean four themes for research:

Understanding the ongoing physical changes facing the Tuktoyaktuk coastline and their impact on port facilities;
Understanding what type of exploration, military and shipping activity is likely to occur in the Region;
Determining the time frame in which this activity is likely to happen; and
With the community, developing the most effective response to the challenges and the opportunities.


The Base for the Beaufort

In this latter instance, the B4B Project has been working with both the Tuktoyaktuk Hamlet Council and the Tuktoyaktuk
Community Corporation to develop a comprehensive Tuktoyaktuk Community Development Plan. (attached in the Appendix)
It became obvious during discussions with members of each of the Hamlet Council and TCC that there were three significant
stressors that were or would be impacting the community in the next few years.
The first, Beaufort oil exploration, is the focus of the B4B Project but two others, climate change causing increasing coastal
erosion and the completion of the Tuk to Inuvik Highway, had not been fully considered by the community.
In addition to being unique events in their own right, the three need to be seen in combination. The highway will help
support Tuk Harbour and its role in the offshore. It will increase tourism in the community but ongoing coastal erosion will
limit the land available for development for either the harbour or the tourist facilities.
It becomes apparent that all three issues need to be addressed simultaneously if the community is to fully realize its
economic potential.
Over the next few months, the Hamlet Council and TCC will work to better define the tasks outlined in the Community
Development Plan and will finalize a comprehensive planning approach that will attempt to deal with all three of the major
challenges, and opportunities, in the communitys future.


Appendix 1


The Base for the Beaufort

The Base for the Beaufort


The Base for the Beaufort


The Base for the Beaufort


The Base for the Beaufort


The Base for the Beaufort


The Base for the Beaufort


The Base for the Beaufort

Appendix 2
FOR THE PERIOD 2014 2016
First Steps to Protect Tuk Harbour
The proposed budget is calculated to meet the costs of travel and consulting time for one consultant to maintain the flow of
information and strategy options to the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk and other Inuvialuit groups within the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk
as part of the Base For The Beaufort project leading up to the prospect of offshore oil exploration in the Beaufort Sea.
With the expectation of industrys decision to confirm its position regarding Canadian Beaufort offshore exploration in
2016, the period leading up to that date is an important period to maintain a focus of long-term community options, the
level of involvement they desire and the implications of having a serious oil spill response training programme and facility
in their community.
Given the current absence of people with marine or environmental training and suitable facilities to house a response centre
in the community and region, there is a need to have a jump start on basic planning and intentions before industrys 2016
decision to allow for quick and effective implementation of training plans.
The one known fact about Arctic offshore oil spill response is the formidable gap between what will be required and what is
available currently in the region. Hence the opportunity between now and 2016 to consider all the possibilities for making the
best use of time and resources between 2016 and an actual offshore exploration date.
To be effective, training and early facility costs will be proportionally higher than for any previous exploration programme in
the region and by a considerable margin. There should be some idea of these costs, where they will come from and how they
will be administered for most benefit. Also the source of the best open sea equipment packages should be known as they can
involve a lead time of one season or more.
Once in place and the basic safety and operational norms are established, a specialized force and facility will need to
collaborate with other specialists to prepare for challenging scenarios in winter and the shoulder season spill possibilities,
most of which are little better than theories and faint hope projections at present.
There is no benefit in disguising the realities and to be effective, the time after a 2016 decision should not be delayed with
simple, inexpensive tasks that can be done ahead of time.


The Base for the Beaufort

If this is a shared and reasonable postulation, the costs to maintain the current focus of Base For The Beaufort - Oil spill
planning to 2016 would be as follows:

2014 season

One trip to Inuvik/Tuktoyaktuk 7-8 days

Flight and expenses
Consulting time: 10 days

$ 4,000
$ 12,000
$ 16,000

2015 season

Two trips to Inuvik/Tuktoyaktuk @ $ 4,000

Two trips to Western Canada @ $ 1,200
Consulting time: 20 days

$ 8,000
$ 2,400
$ 24,000
$ 34,400

2016 season

One trip to Inuvik/Tuktoyaktuk @ $ 4,000

One trip to Western Canada @ $ 1,200
Consulting time: 20 days

$ 4,000
$ 1,200
$ 24,000
$ 29,200

Total project: 2014 - 2016

$ 79,600

Community Meeting Agenda Items

A typical agenda for proposed Beaufort community meeting would include:
Location and owner of suitable land or facility in Tuk Harbour.
Type, source and cost of first stage training equipment.
Typical arrangements with local trainees as to benefits and expectations.
Typical training format - theory vs practical; skills delivered.
The broad perspective for cold water, remote and sensitive marine spill planning and control.
Overviews of known methods of controlling harbour, shoreline, near shore and offshore oil spills with and without ice
and freezing conditions.
Testing and trials for new equipment and technologies in the area by local response personnel.
Oil spill response/control services. Ownership options. Joint venture or collaboration options.
Developing recognition and earning respect from southern agencies and personnel. Not a labour pool and
warehousing staff.
Timing and costs by stages from training to ultimate preparation.
Specific response concerns: Dispersants, in-situ burning, oil behaviour in and around ice and the other big questions
about well control, etc.
New alternative technologies that need testing and possible development in the region.
Specialists in Canada, N America and Norway to connect with and possible exchange opportunities.
Other regional groups, facilities and authorities.
Don MacWatt
August 4, 2014
Duncan, B.C.


The Base for the Beaufort

Appendix 3
Base For The Beaufort Project: Oil Spill Response Planning.
There is an intrigue about the Canadian or Southern Beaufort Sea that permeates all discussion about this region of the
Western Arctic.
Whether its about the people who, like the animals on which they depended, successfully adapted to the rigors of the
climate, the geographic conditions and seasonal variability;
or about that peoples recent history in self government and land ownership within the Canadian constitution;
or about its history of polar navigation for baleen whales and trade routes to the orient;
or the extended search for oil and gas from the shallows of Mackenzie Bay into the depths of the ocean over the second half
of the last century.
It is a part of Canada that never fails to draw interest and now, once again, is in the process of preparing for another new
offshore exploration story that will have major influence on the future of this region.
One aspect about new oil exploration plans and the subject of this report, is the possibility of oil spills and how they can be
prevented and controlled.
A discussion on oil spills and the control of them goes beyond the narrow focus of the events themselves or their prevention
and control.
It reaches into the emotional, economic, ecological and educational aspects pulled into the discussion. It has become a big
news item because of their far-reaching effects and persistence. Its why this report is as much about the interrelated aspects
of the region that correctly belong in the discussion.

A Perspective On Beaufort Sea Oil Spill Experience:

Over the past forty years, the Canadian Beaufort Sea has seen several offshore oil and gas exploration programmes run their
course without a serious spill of crude oil.
This is a re-assuring reflection on the level of professionalism, commitment and technology that has shaped the Beauforts
offshore exploration history to date.
Its not to say that oil spills did not occur during that period. They did but were within the confines of a harbour or bay and
were spills of refined oil products. Appendix 1.
It is also fair to note that those spills occurred at a period of rapid expansion in the Beauforts offshore history in the 70s and
not during periods when the industry was better established.
Those spills were classified as serious because of their close proximity to a community or sensitive ecological area. The three
spills in question and the numerous small or operational spills were controlled and cleaned up because of a dedicated, well
trained and equipped, full-time response team.


The Base for the Beaufort

This team was recruited from the local communities, initially trained through government grant assistance and private
funding, later by industry and hired and further developed by industry.
As adequate as this response team was for protected water spill incidents and the running of the oil spill response facility, it
was fortunate that they were not called upon to control a large and continuous crude oil release in the offshore zone.
That would have required a level of response far in excess of the combined ability of the equipment and manpower levels in
place at that time.
The purpose of this report is to build on the success of that past experience in the Canadian Beaufort Sea to a more advanced
state of preparedness commensurate with a new era of offshore oil exploration in Arctic waters.
Drawing from the well documented oil spill case histories in Alaska (Exxon Valdez, 1989 ) and the Gulf of Mexico (Macando,
2010 ), the report will recommend systems of oil spill response for proposed Beaufort Sea exploration similar to those now in
place at those locations.
It will also recommend systems that have been developed for the Norwegian offshore oil exploration industry and those
being considered for new deep-water exploration in the Chukchi Sea.
The very robust spill response and prevention planning being considered by Shell for deep water drilling in the Chukchi Sea is
a further indication of where offshore drilling for oil, with stringent ecological safeguards in Arctic waters, is heading.
The influence of the large North American spills mentioned, has resulted in a paradigm shift in oil spill response planning
in North America. Using these standards as the goal, sets the bar high enough to accommodate any number of lesser spill
response challenges and at the same time, recognizes the value of the Beaufort communitys cultural and dependent links to
clean and healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems.

Environmental Context:
The Canadian Beaufort Sea is not your average expanse of Arctic ocean, coastline and hinterland by any standard.
It has been blessed by the largest watershed in northern Canada, that of the Mackenzie River which flows generously into
the Beaufort about mid-point on its coastal stretch between Herschel and Baillie Islands and close to the community of
Tuktoyaktuk, the last remaining permanent community of the Beaufort mainland and the established base for previous
offshore exploration programmes.
The Mackenzies influence is enormous and the principal reason why such a diversity of life exists there. It provides the
ancestral flight path for the majority of the birds that teem into the region through the spring and summer months.
It provides the conditions for marine life to prosper in the shallower reaches of its broad delta and extending its nutrient rich
plume miles out to sea. It has been the sustaining bases of a culturally rich population that once numbered in the thousands.
Beyond the Mackenzie Delta to the west along the Yukon Coast with few protected bays until Herschel Island and to the east
along Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula to Liverpool Bay, inundated with numerous inlets and shallow bays.
During severe summer storms these shallow bays and coastal flats, including much of the Delta, are subject to sudden
flooding which can carry debris for up to several miles inland.


The Base for the Beaufort

It is a land of short and intense summer occupation by millions of breeding and sometimes flightless birds in their molt and the
birthing and feeding grounds of beluga whales, the summer pasture for Bowhead whales and permanent home of polar bears
and all the creatures that sustain them. It is an animal rich ecosystem, permanently entwined with the Inuvialuit community.
Fortunately because of its unique biological nature, very active game council, hunter/trapper associations and connection to
previous exploration experience, there is a high level of awareness of sensitive sites and other relevant ecological and historical
information accumulated over many years of study. This information is invaluable and crucial to oil spill response planning.
Open water weather conditions are variable and range from relative calm to severe storms and typically choppy and
moderately windy which limits the type of oil containment and recovery equipment and vessels suitable for open sea use.
The period of ice formation and break-up and the movement of pack ice is a further complication to established systems of
open water spilled oil control.
The Beaufort Seas remoteness and lack of developed infrastructure is a further limiting factor in planning for back-up
resources and adds further weight to the necessity of maximizing the effectiveness of spill control facilities available on site or
within twenty four hours.
The presence of ice for a large part of the year, (at least presently) restricts the movement of any escaped oil to the water
surface where it could be collected and instead tends to be encapsulated within the ice sheets to be released later.
Its the nature of the region and a major factor in making Arctic oil spill response a specialty within a specialty. This will be
addressed under response planning considerations.
In total, there is a set of unique conditions that sets Canadian Beaufort Sea oil spill response planning apart and subject to
very special consideration.

A Base For the Beaufort Response Plan:

This is the introduction to a fresh vision for oil spill response training and implementation for the Canadian Beaufort Sea. A
synopsis of a more complete document being drafted for a future date.
No one will argue that an ounce of PREVENTION is worth more than a pound of cure. In fact, prevention is the only real
solution to the possibility of a devastating oil spill. Everything else pales in comparative significance. In all likelihood,
prevention will continue to develop to a point of infallibility.
As time increases after a world class oil spill without further incident, a feeling approaching relaxation ensues with the
reassurance that all safety and precautionary systems in place are working, until that fateful day when the proverbial fan gets
hit once again as a result of a preventable sequence of events.
If it were not so, the response industry could close its doors and the prevention industry could fill the space. And, as has often
been said: Its not going to happen, so we may as well get busy improving the response system.
If a system for smothering a blown out oil well is developed for the containment and re-direction of oil and release of gas and
could be applied quickly and effectively, then the questions and challenges about the effect of hundreds of tons of atomized
oil flowing from deep on the ocean floor to the open or ice covered ocean surface are reduced to manageable proportions.
That would be a huge step forward in environmental risk reduction.
Until then, the most viable systems need to be assembled to match the specific characteristics of the Beaufort Sea.


The Base for the Beaufort

Since Personnel and Equipment cant function without the other, they become, jointly, the next level of priority.
The response chart in this set of recommendations is divided into five sectors and represented here in the first phase of a
three phase process:
Harbour and protected bay
Shoreline and flats
Near shore and shallow water
Offshore open water
Offshore ice impacted
The first phase would limit its attention to preparatory training such as:
Safety, survival, first aid
Small vessel operations and maintenance
Seamanship and navigation
Basic oil spill response tools and equipment, their storage, use in protected waters such as harbours and their maintenance.
Influence of environmental factors
Basic oil spill response strategies
Beaufort marine and shoreline ecology
Basic microbiology in relation to spilled oil deterioration
Oil, water, ice and benthic sampling and analysis.
Subsequent phases would include:
Larger and more sophisticated equipment
Coastal navigation
Secondary response base sites
Shoreline and bay protection
Increased research and trials
Winter activities involving ice work and winter/ spring response strategies
Continued biological and natural material uses in spill control and restoration
Storage and disposal of recovered oil and debris
Spill monitoring
Team building
Ultimately and up to five years:
The operation of a larger vessel
Multiple vessel operations
Open sea oil spill control
Fire booms and burning oil at sea
Igniting oil on water and melt pools, tools and methods
Chemical dispersant considerations, most effective and least toxic, application, effect on microorganisms, benefits
and drawbacks
Right tools right application
Advanced shoreline restoration
Advanced safety and survival
Train the trainer, leadership and management
Trials and exercises
Public relations and reporting
Continued indigenous microorganism and natural material development and use strategy

The Base for the Beaufort

This training schedule recommendation deviates from the past by having a broader and higher range of skill development to
attract ambitious and career minded individuals with a good basic or continued education, with a correspondingly higher pay
range and longer employment period.
Also to enable technical work to be done regionally with related specialists and professionals. It is just for well trained oil spill
professions who do most of the heavy lifting during spill events, to also be in the frontier of technical developments and
research, representing the interests of their communities and subsequent generations.
It is expected that the facilities and staff of Aurora College would provide some of the early or initial training and that
in-house training would look after the remainder.
The number of trainees would ideally start with 6 to 8 allowing for minor attrition, increasing to 12 to 16 near the
programmes conclusion for eventual shift rotation when a drilling programme commences.
Typical equipment acquisition and facility rental for phase one would look like:
2 harbour/shoreline aluminum response vessels. 12 x 36 approx.
1 small equipment and recovery aluminum barge. 12 x 40 approx.
2 outboard driven 12/14 aluminum runarounds
Quick deployment boom & containers w/ anchors, etc
36 marine boom & containers w/ anchors, etc
2 skimmers, transfer pumps and ancillary equipment
Portable tanks
Oil/water separator
Survival gear, safety gear, tools, etc
Leased or otherwise, base facility would have:
Dock space with crane access
Secure warehouse with shelves and fork lift access
Workshop space with benches and tools
Office, lunch room, first aid room, training/briefing room
4 x 4 crewcab
Helipad access
In subsequent years, as equipment increased, the rental space and degree of sophistication may change.


The Base for the Beaufort

The story of the Beaufort Seas people is one of adaptation and prosperity through the harvesting and use of the seasonally
rich natural resources, highly developed skills, traditional knowledge and cultural integrity.
That integrity serves well today in evaluating the risks and advantages of entering into the twenty first century as participants
in a world trying to balance environmental sustainability, quality of life and the new economy.
The Beaufort Sea remains culturally, ecologically and resource rich. Safe resource development will ensure that this remains
throughout the petroleum energy era and beyond but right now, how can this be ensured?
By meeting the challenges head on and taking on the areas of concern and potential threat as the regions or communities
realm of skills and developed knowledge. By beginning the process of claiming the territory of responsibility and opportunity
and leading the way in oil spill prevention and control in Arctic waters. There is much room in this field of partial solutions and
information gaps.
By being the leaders in new, some still unproven, spill recovery and control options, with the help of research facilities,
individuals and other cold ocean, oil producing nations, the Inuvialuit of Beaufort Sea region, can be part of the innovative
process of improved technologies for oil spill control in open sea, ice dominated and shoreline environments.
Even if an oil spill of any significance did not occur in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, the risk alone is worth ensuring that what
response systems are in place, are equal to the task.
Thats a tall order and would require the training and skill development of many individuals over time starting with a key
group selected from and by the community to lead off this vital roll as many years ahead of drilling as possible. At least five
years ahead to allow for a building of momentum, extensive training, gradual procurement of equipment and facility, new
technique development, support networking and the process of expanding into this high profile position.
Because of the Beaufort Seas multi-year ice, clockwise rotation through the Alaskan Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, any serious
spill occurring in those areas would likely show-up in the Canadian Beaufort if there was not an immediate oil well capping
or successful clean-up effort at the source. This possibility coupled with an expected increase in marine traffic through the
Beaufort Sea, increases the value of having a regionally operated response system in place to adequately meet the challenge.
As previously noted, earlier offshore exploration projects provided a good introduction to the open water oil spill response
technologies of the period and supplied the means of controlling smaller spills well and its fair to say, would have been of
limited value in dealing with a serious offshore oil spill incident.
By necessity, its time now for oil spill control to increase its ranking as an integral member of an offshore oil exploration team.
In the approximately twenty five years between the last and the next proposed Beaufort Sea exploration programmes, oil
spill control expectations have greatly expanded in this continent alone with an increased expectation in performance
and effectiveness.
While large gaps remain in these technologies, at some point on the learning curve, the presence of ice will become less
of a hindrance to oil spill control and contaminated shorelines become better and faster restored. Its a matter of time,
technological breakthroughs coupled with financial commitment.
For the regional community having more of a direct influence in environmental outcomes and obtaining more economic
benefits through this involvement, represents an aspect of the balanced, middle ground that helps such proposed
developments be more sustainable.


The Base for the Beaufort

So, development with an acceptable safety factor and with full participation in that safety factor and on that learning curve.
If adequately planned, designed and implemented, the effort and effect will be a credit to all participants: the community, the
various levels of government and the industry.
All stand to benefit, particularly the regional community in the broad sense and for the long term.
No discussion of this kind can be concluded without a reference to cost. Whether there is for one or ten drilling units, the base
cost would be similar except it would be a shared cost. Capital costs would increase incrementally with each drilling unit.
Accurate capital and operational estimates can be prepared for training, base facilities and response equipment for the early
stages of the principal oil spill control base. Full operational costs will require the participation of the exploration company.
The question is, would those costs represent 1%, 5% ,10% of the overall capital or operations budget of the exploration
programme? Its not an idle question. What is it worth to assure the level of ecological safety and peace of mind that all
participants would consider adequate and optimum? It may be more than many would expect but who wants a limited
health insurance plan when you have a personal medical emergency?
And so we conclude with a final reference to the past.
The whaling skills of yesteryear were not fashioned in a season. The construction of boats and tools may have been perfected
over centuries and still, eager hunters had to stand idle on the beach waiting for weather to improve. Although life has sped
up and technologies routinely overcomes yesterdays obstacle, the same or similar operating conditions remain.
Something as sensitive to the variables of weather and environmental conditions as oil spill response, needs time to reach its
optimum level of performance or in some cases, a reasonable level of performance regardless of who is operating the system.
Time is a critical factor and at this point there is time available.
The accompanying point is that the Beaufort Sea is large and uniquely individual.
It is large enough to require the specialty knowledge of a group of Beaufort ecological response and restoration specialists
all of its own, dedicated to that sea and shoreline and nowhere else. Whoever joins or accompanies them through necessity,
over time, will help to complete the picture faster but as they revolve through the project, their knowledge will be left behind.
In comparison, the past becomes the present. The details may change but the relationship between nature and man remains
knowledge based, respectful and competent. People and their homeland in safety and harmony.
Don MacWatt MacWatt Ecological Planning and Design. June 21, 2013

Appendix 4
NRCan Coastal Erosion Study
In Tuktoyaktuk, harbour shoaling is thought to be mostly attributable to sediment supplied by coastal erosion, with some
input from the Mackenzie River sediment plume. The community of Tuktoyaktuk is currently looking at ways to reduce coastal
erosion by installing 3 large protective barriers in front of the community and just NW of the island to help reduce the effects
of waves and wind. There is very little information on the near-shore sediment dynamics in the area to determine if this is the
best possible remediation technique to help reduce coastal erosion and harbour sedimentation. The information provided
by the shallow sub-bottom geophysical data, sediment cores, wave and current measurements, age dating, and calculated


The Base for the Beaufort

sediment budget will be valuable information for assessing the usefulness of this protective action and will ultimately lead to
a better understanding of near-shore depositional processes of ice-rich thermokarst coastlines.
Dustin Whalen, Natural Resources Canada.

Appendix 5
Tuktoyaktuk Harbour and Approaches
Background. Located within the influence of the Mackenzie River, which supplies annually 128 million tonnes of sediment
to the delta (Carson et al., 1998), Tuktoyaktuk Harbour has the potential for high sedimentation rates. Sediment is derived
from nearby coastal erosion, wave-driven currents and sediment transport toward the harbour mouth. The average rate
of shoreline retreat in the Tuktoyaktuk area is 0.75 m/yr (1972-2000) with a maximum of 6.84 m/yr (Solomon, 2005). Large
volumes of massive ground ice, both above and below sea level, result in volume loss and thaw settlement when exposed and
eroded or thawed through contact with warmer sea-surface temperatures. Coastal erosion of Tuktoyaktuk Island potentially
contributes to sedimentation in the harbour.
Preliminary work suggests that the approaches to Tuktoyaktuk Harbour have been infilled by sediment since it was first
deepened and widened in the 1980s (Forbes et al., 2014). Preferred areas for dredging of harbour bottom granular material
resources have been delineated earlier based on the geophysical surveys of Hardy & Associates (1978). Storm events during
the open water season are responsible for significant sediment resuspension and transport (Lintern et al., 2013). Storms are
a major hazard along the coast and can flood large parts of Tuktoyaktuk in extreme events (Forbes et al., 2013). Maximum
recorded water level (from driftwood) is 2.4 m above Chart Datum (Forbes and Frobel, 1985; Harper et al., 1988). Rising relative
sea levels and coastal subsidence (Craymer et al., 2005) pose risks of more frequent flooding and higher maximum water
levels. There is also high risk of ride-up or pile-up of nearshore ice, particularly at freeze-up. The increasing length of the openwater season raises the risk of storms over open water generating larger waves impacting the coast (Lintern et al., 2013).
Potential Geoscience Information for Tuktoyaktuk Harbour and Approaches
The Geological Survey of Canada has considered the geoscience data and information that is currently available, as well as
new data that could feasibly be collected in a two-year time frame. The following information, compiled in a GIS framework,
could provide a foundation for decision making for the harbour and its surroundings.

Multibeam bathymetry
MB backscatter
Sediment types
Seascape types
Sediment thickness
Sediment accretion/erosion rates and zones
Bottom currents (waves, tides)
Coastal classification;
Terrestrial classification (10x10 km)
Coastal change scenarios +50y
Seabed change scenarios +50y
Geophysical profiles
Sidescan sonar mosaics
Sample sites

Feedback is sought on the above list, including an indication of the relative priorities and whether other items would also
be desirable.

The Base for the Beaufort

Literature cited:
Carson, M.A., J.N. Jasper and F.M. Conly, 1998. Magnitude and Sources of Sediment Input to the Mackenzie Delta, Northwest
Territories, 1974 94. Arctic, vol. 51, no. 2 (june 1998) p. 116 124.
Forbes, D.L. and Frobel, D. 1985. Coastal erosion and sedimentation in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Current Research, Geological
Survey of Canada, Paper 85-1B, 69-80.
Forbes, D.L., Whalen, D.J.R., Jacobson, B., Fraser, P., Couture, N.J and Simpson, R. 2013. Co-design of coastal risk analysis for
subsistence infrastructure in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, western Arctic Canada. Programme, 2013 Annual Scientific
Meeting, ArcticNet, 141-142 (abstract and poster).
Hardy & Associates Ltd. 1978. Geophysical evaluation of granular material resources, Tuktoyaktuk harbour Northwest Territories.
Prepared for department of Indian affairs and northern development. Calgary, Alberta, March 1978, 49pp + maps.
Harper, J.R., Henry, R.F. & Stewart, G.G. 1988. Maximum storm surge elevations in the Tuktoyaktuk region of the Canadian Beaufort
Sea. Arctic, 41, 48-52.
Lintern, D.G., Macdonald, R.W., Solomon, S.M. and Jakes, H. 2013. Beaufort Sea storm and resuspension modeling. Journal of
Marine Systems, 127, 14-25.
Solomon, S.M. 2005. Spatial and temporal variability of shoreline change in the Beaufort-Mackenzie region, Northwest Territories,
Canada. Geo-Marine Letters, 25, 127-137.


The Base for the Beaufort

Appendix 6

Tuktoyaktuk Community Development Plan

Approved May 7, 2014


The Base for the Beaufort

The Challenges
The community of Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk) will over the next five to ten years experience a number of major changes and with these
changes will generate some serious challenges to the communitys physical structure, its economy and its social well-being.
From a purely physical point of view, the continual changes to the Tuk coastline, the result of climate change and uncertain
waves and weather, will cause significant changes in land use patterns in the community with some areas no longer suitable
for occupancy.
At the same time, Tuk will be the site of major new economic opportunities, the result of increasing offshore oil exploration,
increasing vessel traffic through the Beaufort Sea and the impacts of the Inuvik to Tuk highway.
And both of these influences, the one almost certainly negative, the other some yet to be determined combination of good
and bad, will in turn have consequences for the communitys social and cultural well-being.
The community has long experienced both the impacts of erosion and of rapid, but uncertain, economic influences, but has
for the most part always had to play a reactive role in the face of these impacts.
In the present case, there is luckily still sufficient time for Tuk to get out ahead of the coming changes and prepare a plan to
both deal with them and, where appropriate, benefit from them.
This Community Development Plan is intended to help Tuk exercise some control over its future.
While there are some new approaches to development in this Draft Plan, much of it is based on the 2012 Community Economic
Development Plan and the 2000 Tuktoyaktuk Community Plan.
The reason for referring to these previous plans is quite simple both had the input and support of the Hamlet Council, the
Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation and the public and therefore represent a very good place to start.

The Context for the Plan

The Offshore
In response to the planned offshore oil exploration programs of the major oil companies, the community of Tuk, TCC, IRC, the
GNWT and CanNor have for the past four years been working collectively on a planning project called the Base for the Beaufort.
Simply put, this Project is charged with determining how best to position the Mackenzie Delta communities to be a supply
and service base for offshore oil exploration and production.
The Project has been reviewing the potential for Tuk Harbour as a link in a deep sea port chain; the impacts of coastal erosion
on the community; the economic and employment opportunities arising from offshore development; the need for an active
oilspill response capability in Tuk Harbour; and the increased use of both the Inuvik and Tuk airports and the planned highway
to provide a logistical link to the supply bases of southern Canada.
The Community Development Plan should be seen as both an important input into the work of the Base for the Beaufort
Project and a major beneficiary of that work.


The Base for the Beaufort

The Highway
The completion of the Tuk to Inuvik highway in 2018 will also have major impacts on the community. For the first time in its
long history the community will be able to access, and be accessible to, the outside world on a year round, easy to reach basis.
This road is expected to reduce the cost of living for Tuk residents but will also have a number of potentially negative impacts
including increased out-migration and additional demands on Tuk services for tourists and suppliers arriving in the community.
Climate Change
While the impacts of climate change cannot be fully anticipated, the continuing shoreline erosion provides a good indication as
to the likely long-term effects of sea level rise and increased wave action on the community.
The community cannot realistically expect to take advantage of the opportunities associated with increased offshore oil
exploration and the highway without considering the impacts of climate change on its infrastructure and the planning the
adaptation measures that will be required.

The Purpose of the Plan

The Community Development Plan will try to look some twenty years into the future and will be designed so as to provide
periodic reviews of progress and allow for the required revisions.
The Plan could usefully consist of just four questions:
Where does Tuk want to be in 20 years?
What do we do next year to get there?
How do we measure progress?
How do we change the Plan to reflect the progress or its lack?
If we take each question in turn, we get the following:
20 years represents a generation and is a useful, and understandable time frame for most people. A baby becomes an
adult in 20 years and most parents can readily imagine what they would like their children to inherit as a community.
On the other hand, 20 years can be a long time to plan as unknown changes in the physical and economic environment
will undoubtedly arise so we are better to approach the Plans goals a year at a time. 1
And in order to stay roughly on course to the Plans 20 year goals, we will need to periodically measure progress toward
those goals and make changes as necessary.
Which leads to the fourth element how do we make those changes? Change the Goal? Develop new means to reach
that goal? Use new tools? 2
The question as to where Tuk wants to be in 20 years was first set out in the 2000 Tuktoyaktuk Community Plan and the goal
seems as reasonable today as it did then:

The goal of the Plan is to accommodate the growth and development of

Tuktoyaktuk in a controlled and logical manner over the next twenty years,
taking into account the needs and desires of the community.

The Community Development Plan will be the tool to realize that goal.

A repeat of the BP Gulf blowout or the Exxon Valdez tanker spill would bring Beaufort oil exploration to a complete halt
A useful model to reach a Plans goals is to ask 3 questions: What do we want to do? How do we do it? Who do we need to do it?

The Base for the Beaufort

The Elements of the Plan

As described above, the Community Development Plan could be seen as an important part of the Base for the Beaufort
Project, both helping to inform that Project and benefitting from it.
The Base for the Beaufort Project, in turn, is based on three broad goals to help Tuk to Prosper; to Protect the community;
and to Preserve.
The Tuktoyaktuk Community Development Plan can usefully employ the same three categories to define its specific elements.
The 2012 Community Economic Development Plan was quite clear that Tuk faces a number of economic challenges including a
declining population, a low labour force participation rate, an average personal income level some one third less than that of
Inuvik and a high cost of living.
While some of these numbers will be more positive today, resulting from the construction work on the Tuk to Inuvik highway,
that work is seasonal and short-term. Other sources of well-paying long-term employment must be found.
If the community is truly going to prosper in the long run, it will need to begin preparing now for the opportunities provided
by the completed highway, the offshore exploration and the ongoing impacts of climate change.
Community protection efforts will need to address the impacts of economic growth and local environmental pressures arising
from the increased highway traffic and industrial activity in and around the community.
In addition, the community will continue to be exposed to significant environmental threats, the result of climate change.
While the required protective responses to these challenges will not be Tuks alone, the community will need to establish
the environmental standards it wishes to maintain over the next twenty years and work to ensure it, and others, adhere to
those standards.
This element is primarily concerned with community wellness issues and efforts here would seek to preserve the existing aspects
of Tuk that are important to the community while building on others that can improve the quality of life for Tuk residents.
The Tasks
Some of these tasks follow. The listing is only meant to provide some examples. Others will be developed with the
involvement of Tuk Council and Tuk Community Corp.
Land Use Planning & Development
Tuk will require a new land use plan and the associated regulatory regime (by-laws, development permit process, etc) to
manage development within the community boundaries.


The Base for the Beaufort

This will require a number of actions.

Identify available land for development
Approve land administration policies
Amend land use regulations
Develop and implement residential, commercial and industrial sub-division plans.
Municipal Infrastructure
In order to respond to the opportunities and challenges arising from the highway and offshore exploration, and to be
prepared for the impacts of climate change, Tuk will need to carefully review its current infrastructure capacity and plan for
the needed expansions.
In the event of substantial population increase or new camps in Tuk, the current water and sewage systems will be
challenged. At present the water reservoir is filled once per year but demand growth could double this activity. A case
could be made for developing alternative water supply models for the camps and the capacity of the sewage lagoon
should be analyzed.
Construct additional community sports facilities
Construct new solid waste management facilities for Tuk and plan for a for a fee-based model for industrial use whether
camp-based or emergency-related (oilspill clean-up, for example)
Continue with community energy upgrades
Develop a capacity building program for Hamlet staff
Protective Services
Tuk will be challenged to respond to the impacts of increased traffic from the highway (tourists and supply vehicles),
population growth arising from economic development, new oil company camps and sudden, climate-driven events such as
power failures and flooding.
This will require the community to:
Provide increased training for emergency response agencies to respond to community and highway needs, airport
incidents and industry at their shore-based facilities
Increase access to local and Inuvik health services (the highway to health)
Increase municipal by-law enforcement services
Develop a community resilience model to respond to community-wide weather threats
Environmental Protection
The community will require numerous responses to a variety of environmental challenges ranging from those arising outside
of the community (climate change and erosion) to those occurring within (harbour spills, industrial accidents). Tuktoyaktuk
Community Development Plan-Approved
With the Base for the Beaufort Project, continue to develop a harbour-based oilspill response capacity to provide yearround protection
With the Base for the Beaufort Project, continue to review the dredging options for Tuk Harbor channels and the possible
use of the dredged material to re-build Tuks damaged coastline


The Base for the Beaufort

Economic Development
There were a number of small business opportunities identified in the 2012 Community Economic Development Plan and
others are being identified through the Base for the Beaufort Project.
Continue to support the Base for the Beaufort Project to develop Tuk Harbour as a supply base for the offshore
Identify business opportunities arising from the offshore including oil exploration, barge and vessel traffic, military
operations and search and rescue
Prepare for the completion of the Tuk to Inuvik highway and the increased traffic it will bring
Develop needed supply and service support for the road traffic and tourist facilities including rest stops and gasoline supply
Plan a hotel and meeting facility in Tuk
Work with the existing B&Bs to ensure they are not negatively impacted by the hotel
Look to reduce the cost of living in Tuk
Continue to work with the Inuvik Regional office of Industry, Tourism & Investment (ITI) to provide arts and crafts support
to Tuk craftspeople
With ITI Inuvik Region, fund and establish an Economic Development Officer training program for Tuk
Cultural Support
Tuk will be faced with some significant disruption to community life as each of the three major challenges climate change,
the highway and offshore exploration come to pass. In turn, the communitys ability to adapt to those challenges will
depend to a large extent on the continued strength of the culture that today sustains its people.
This Community Development Plan will help to ensure Inuvialuit culture remains strong through, among other actions, the
Increasing support for Elders
Greater investment in youth services and their increased involvement in community planning
Work with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Museum to research, restore and display important historical records of Tuk
While there are many aspects of Tuks past that are culturally important to its people, there are also a number of damaged
and abandoned structures throughout the community that are a fire and safety hazard. This is not the image Tuk would
like to present to the expected tourists once the highway is completed. This is an issue that will need to be resolved. 3
The Timing
The timing for this work will be variable, depending on the driving force behind the need for the work.
The Tuk to Inuvik Highway is scheduled to be completed by 2018 and that means that the tasks associated with that
activity will need to be fully completed before that date.
Offshore exploration activity is still a relative unknown. Esso Resources is required by law to begin its first exploration
well by 2020 but a decision by the company to proceed will likely not be made until 2016. In this case, the development
planning work will need to be done between now and 2016 but any construction associated with the offshore activity
will not begin until after 2016.
The impacts of climate change are both immediate and long-term. This could mean that adaptation measures will be
needed almost immediately (to respond to sudden changes brought about by summer storms) while the mitigation
measures will require much more time.
This item could also be dealt with under Economic Development and/or Protection. It should be considered a priority item as it impacts all three of Prosper, Protect
& Preserve.


The Base for the Beaufort

The Cost of the Plan

There are two distinct phases associated with this Community Development Plan the period between now and 2016 for the
offshore and the period between now and 2018 for the Highway.
The Highway
Work to prepare for the highway will be undertaken over the 2014-2018 period and can proceed with much greater certainty
than can that required for offshore exploration.
Research, planning, legal and administrative work in the period 2014-2016 will be in the range of $ 600,000.
This will be followed by capital work in excess of $ 5 million in the period 2016-2018 with an additional $ 5 million in 2018-2020.
The Offshore
Activity between now and 2016 will be focused on research, planning and basic regulatory preparation as it would not be
wise to begin significant building in advance of a final decision by Esso and others to proceed with Beaufort exploration.
Once all the tasks to be undertaken in the 2014-2016 period have been identified with Council and TCCs help, a final budget
for this period will be developed.
This budget is expected to be in the range of $ 250,000. This is in addition to the work being carried out by the Base for the
Beaufort project.
Assuming a positive exploration decision, the period from 2016-2020 will require construction expenditures in excess of $ 15
million and the period beyond 2020 likely will need another $ 10 million.