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N.W.T. names new regulator of oil and gas operations

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 2:17 PM | By John Chunn

The commissioner of the Northwest Territories has designated Pauline de Jong as regulator of oil and gas operations under the Oil and Gas Operations Act upon the recommendation of the territory's executive council.

According to a press release from the N.W.T. government, since devolution on April 1, 2014, the regulator is responsible for regulating oil and gas operations in the onshore N.W.T., excluding the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and retained federal lands. This appointment has been made to separate the administrative function of the regulator from elected office and ensures the regulator’s independence.

De Jong has worked with the Office of the Regulator for Oil and Gas Operations (OROGO) since May 2014 and has served as executive director since February 2019. At the same time, she was appointed chief conservation officer under section 4 of the Oil and Gas Operations Act (OGOA) and was delegated decision-making authority for operations authorizations, well approvals and operating licences under the Act.

Before joining OROGO, de Jong served in a variety of capacities with the government of the Northwest Territories and has worked in the establishment of protected areas, business development, human resources and the implementation of the Devolution Agreement.

“Pauline de Jong is an outstanding public servant and has played an integral role in the establishment of OROGO. Her work has led the development of guidelines and interpretation notes with respect to well suspension and abandonment, safety and environmental protection plans, and public access to information. I have full confidence in her ability to serve as regulator for oil and gas operations,” said Caroline Cochrane, premier of the Northwest Territories.