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Tom Isaac, Stuart Blyth and Arend Hoekstra Look at the Importance of Early Engagement with Indigenous Peoples to Reduce Project Risk in Oil & Gas Journal


The article “Early Engagement of Indigenous Peoples Reduces Project Risk” authored by Thomas Isaac, Stuart Blyth and Arend Hoekstra has been published by the Oil & Gas Journal.

This article looks at Aboriginal and treaty rights, the duty to consult and Aboriginal law in Canada as well as specific projects including the Northern Gateway Pipeline and Pacific Northwest LNG. Write the authors:

By developing an effective engagement strategy that considers the specific rights of potentially impacted indigenous peoples at the outset, oil and gas proponents in Canada can reduce the risk of costly delays, find project partners, and win community support that will advance project development. Indigenous rights play a significant role in oil and gas exploration, development, and transportation in Canada. The constitutional protection of these rights impacts how governments and regulators review and approve resource and infrastructure development. For potential investors seeking government or regulatory approvals, understanding indigenous rights in Canada can help reduce the risk of costly delays, negative public perception, and even physical obstruction.

The last few years have marked a difficult period for Canadian oil and gas projects. While oil production has grown in Canada, access to markets has shown little improvement, with pipeline projects facing increased political, economic, and regulatory obstacles. Much of the public opposition to oil and gas projects is focused on carbon emissions. Legal challenges to these projects, however, have been rooted in both environmental law and in a principle first enshrined in the 1982 Constitution of Canada: aboriginal and treaty rights, Canada’s form of indigenous rights.

The Oil & Gas Journal, first published in 1902, is the world’s most widely read petroleum industry publication. Read the full article here. (Subscription required.)