The Deep Well Oil and Gas Sawn Lake project was the first oil development project in the centre of Lubicon territory proposed in 2004 without any consultation or negotiation with the Lubicon Lake Nation . It uses Steam Assisted Gravity
Drainage ("SAGD") and referred to as the SAGD project. The Lubicon Lake Nation has one of the longest outstanding and unresolved land disputes . No environmental assessment was conducted as it was not required for this particular SAGD trial project using a horizontal well . The construction of the well began in 2005 and production started in 2014 .
The Lubicon nation wrote letters to the various oil companies involved - Deep Well Oil and Gas, Surge Oil and Energy yet there was no response . In 2006, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural
Rights (UNCESCR) also examined the Lubicon’s situation and it too ruled
that Canada had the duty to consult with the Lubicon Nation prior to
approving resource development projects . Only once the company’s stocks decreased drastically due to mobilization via protests, and media awareness, did they respond. The Lubicon people protested this well demanding for negotiation, and while there finally was an agreement signed after two years of protest and conflict, the Albertan government had sold leases and approved wells for over 65 thousand hectares of land and 50 pipeline approvals . The well resulted in clear cutting for the well site as well as deforestation for roads and construction of a pipeline. It was constructed right in the heart of the unceded Lubicon territory disrupting the ecosystems and destroying traplines . There is already a large amount of oil and gas development in the area resulting in many environmental concerns and health issues in the Lubicon community; the addition of this well only increases the physical and mental health issues affecting this community.
In October 2018 the Lubicon settled their land claims case with the government of Canada for $131 Million CAD. According to the agreement, "the province of Alberta will pay $15 million for purposes to be
determined by Lubicon” as well as $3 million for capital enhancements to
the Little Buffalo school to allow it to provide post-secondary
education. Ottawa agreed to $95 million in compensation and $8 million in federal funding to cover negotiating costs. A large swath of land will also be handed back for the creation of a reserve."