Fuel Services

The Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Fuel Services division administers the Petroleum Products Program, which manages the purchase, transport and storage of bulk petroleum products for 16 NWT communities that are not serviced by the private sector. Local contractors sell and distribute these petroleum products to residents and businesses in their communities.

Fuel Services also manages the purchase, transport and storage of diesel fuel in 20 communities on behalf of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC), and maintains fuel storage facilities at NTPC power plants. There is some overlap between these communities and the communities where the general public is served.

The GNWT has three programs to deliver petroleum products to these communities. During the summer/fall resupply program, which typically runs from June until October, fuel is delivered by tug and barge to eight NWT communities. During the winter road resupply program, which typically runs from January to mid-April, fuel is delivered by truck to six NWT communities.  Additionally, fuel is delivered to eight communities by all-weather road, all year round. Some seasonal shutdowns are experienced where ferries and ice crossings are used.

By providing this service, the GNWT ensures these communities have access to essential fuels to generate electricity, heat homes, operate cars, snowmobiles, boats, and all-terrain vehicles.

Petroleum products

The GNWT delivers the following petroleum products through its Petroleum Products Program:

  • Heating fuel
  • Automotive diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Naphtha
  • Jet A-1 fuel

Overall, the GNWT normally delivers about 35 million litres of petroleum products each year to 16 NWT communities for the general public and 20 communities for NTPC.

Fuel providers

Local contractors who sell and distribute these fuel products are chosen through the GNWT’s public procurement process.

Fuel prices

Fuel prices under the Petroleum Products Program are adjusted at least twice a year – after the summer/fall resupply and after the winter road resupply. There can also be changes made periodically for other reasons, including changes to the carbon tax. Carbon price tax changes are normally scheduled for April 1 each year.

The GNWT operates the Petroleum Products Program on a break-even basis. It does not make a profit from this service. It is required to set retail fuel prices at amounts that recover the full ‘laid-in’ cost of fuel. What are these ‘laid-in’ costs? They include:

  • Cost of the petroleum product
  • Transportation cost
  • Commissions charged by local contractor for dispensing the fuel
  • Operations and maintenance of the storage facilities
  • Taxes (i.e - carbon tax, GST)
  • Evaporation loss

Prices vary depending on the fuel and the community.