• Yukon’s workforce is highly educated, skilled, motivated and productive.
  • Yukon is open for business.
  • Yukoners enjoy a very high quality of life.
  • Yukon is home to one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits and one of the world’s largest undeveloped lead-zinc districts.
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises continue to be Yukon’s largest private sector employer.
  • Yukon has been a site location for a number of feature films including the 20th Century Fox's, "The Big Year" starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black.
  • Partnerships are key to our success.
  • Yukon businesses are leading the way.

Resource Base

The information in this section is currently under review. Please contact Tiffani.Fraser@gov.yk.ca for further information.


Yukon has eight onshore oil basins with oil and natural gas potential. Analysis shows a combined estimated oil potential of 791mmbls and 17.4 trillion ft3. An additional 40 trillion ft3 of natural gas and 4.5 billion barrels of oil are expected to lie offshore. Yukon’s eight onshore basins with hydrocarbon potential formed as part of, or were deposited on, a variety of basement terrains.

Liard Basin

Located in south-eastern Yukon, the Liard Basin has had six expected plays identified in the area. Five contain natural gas while the Chinkah Clastics play has both gas and oil potential. The Manetoe facies dolomite play has proven discoveries and production: formerly from the Beaver River gas field and currently from the Kotaneelee gas field.

Expected NG Yield: 4.11 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: 0.1 million barrels

Whitehorse Trough

Located in south-central Yukon, the Whitehorse Trough is the basin nearest the capital city. Five gas plays and two oil plays have been identified in the area. Whitehorse Trough contains abundant bituminous to semi-anthracite grade coal measures in the Jurassic Laberge group and the Jurassic Cretaceous Tantalus Formation. Coal has historically been mined from the trough for local use. Potential for gas from coal methane exists, but has not been considered in recent assessments.

Expected NG Yield: 0.42 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: 39 million barrels

Bonnet Plume

Located in northern Yukon, along the border of NWT, three conceptual gas plays and three speculative gas plays have been identified in this area. Statistical analysis has been completed for the conceptual plays and predicts that significant gas potential exists within stratigraphic and structural traps within the Lower Paleozoic facies transition from carbonate to shale. Geochemical evidence indicates a low potential for oil.

Expected NG Yield: 0.80 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: None

Kandik Basin

Located in the most southern part of the northern basins, there are no discovered reserves in the basin, however, oil staining has been observed in outcrop sandstone in the Alaskan portion of the basin. Three gas and three oil conceptual basins were identified with a high probability of existing. Significant erosion and unroofing may have increased the chance of breached seal or closure.

Expected NG Yield: 0.65 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: 99 million barrels

Peel Plateau and Plain

Located in northern Yukon north-east of the Bonnet Plume, this area is divided into three structural domains: two within the Plateau and one identified as the Peel Plain. Eight gas plays have been detected in the area with the most eastern plays having the highest probability of existing. The mean potential per pool is approximately 2.9tft3 across 88 pools. Due to a lack of maturation and source, no crude oil potential has been identified in the area though oil stains have been noted.

Expected NG Yield: 2.92 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: None

Old Crow Basin

Three conceptual gas plays and three speculative gas plays have been identified in the Old Crow Basin surrounding the Old Crow community. Although the tertiary sediments are likely too immature and sparingly structured to have significant hydrocarbon potential, there exists some possibility of biogenic gas. There is little, if any, oil potential in the area.

Expected NG Yield: 1.15 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: None

Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin

The Beaufort-Mackenzie basin is the most northern Yukon oil and gas and basin. The potential for significant hydrocarbon accumulations in the region is derived from the combined presence of numerous and diverse trapping configurations, good-to excellent petroleum source rocks in favourable stratigraphic positions, and reservoir-quality strata in the sedimentary succession. Six conceptual and immature plays have been analyzed in the area and the results indicate that four gas fields greater than 100 billion cubic feet are expected. Significant gas potential is also predicted.

Expected NG Yield: 1.01 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: 217 million barrels

Eagle Plains

Nine gas and six oil plays have been identified in this north-central basin. Several plays are considered established as they have yielded proven discoveries. Others have petroleum shows in this or other basins and are considered immature. Development of only six wells has tested as far as the Lower Paleozoic stratigraphy. Eagle Plains is predicted by far to be the largest oil and gas onshore basin.

Expected NG Yield: 6.06 trillion cubic feet                    Expected Oil Yield: 437 million barrels

Yukon remains committed to the exploration and monitoring of its potential oil and gas basins. The baseline geology of the basins is being actively investigated by the Yukon Geological Survey and the information is available at www.geology.gov.yk.ca. With the exception of the Whitehorse Trough, the basins are all similar to the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. To date, 73 wells have been drilled in Yukon.


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