Venture to create jobs
Oil and gas venture announced

Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

Hay River (Jan 17/00) - The Hay River Dene Band wants in on the NWT's oil and gas business.

Following a review of oil and gas economic development opportunities, the band council sought participation from other communities in a proposed well service business.

The band is also looking at starting a process which could lead to oil and gas exploration on the band's traditional lands.

On the well service business, three communities, Fort Liard, Kakisa and the Hay River Reserve, have formed a joint-venture partnership, Hay River Dene Band Chief Pat Martel announced last Tuesday. Martel could not be reached for further comment.

The joint-venture company, which includes three Alberta oil and gas firms, will offer gas well service business in the NWT.

The joint venture's primary goal is to give first consideration for employment and training and business opportunities to all NWT residents.

The NWT members of the joint venture also want to work with industry and government to create long-term employment.

Another goal is to create an NWT-based training facility.

The Hay River Dene Band Council is also looking into the potential of natural gas development within the Hay River Reserve. If found and developed, natural gas could be used locally.