Questerre Energy Corporation
TSX : QEC
OSLO STOCK EXCHANGE : QEC

Questerre Energy Corporation

November 17, 2011 16:18 ET

Questerre Energy Corporation: Research Abstract on Fault Stability in Quebec

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2011) -

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION ON U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Questerre Energy Corporation ("Questerre" or the "Company") (TSX:QEC) (OSE:QEC) released today an abstract of a research paper entitled "The Stability of Fault Systems in the South Shore of the St. Lawrence Lowlands of Quebec – Implications for Shale Gas Development" written by John Brodylo, professional geologist with a double major in geology and geophysics; Jean-Yves Chatellier, professional geologist and PhD in structural geology; Guillaume Matton, PhD in mineral resources and Michel Rheault, professional geologist with a Master's degree in remote sensing.

John Brodylo, Vice President of Exploration with Questerre, presented the preliminary findings of his paper at the Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference yesterday in Calgary. The paper was undertaken to address areas of concern raised in the BAPE report.

Michael Binnion, President of Questerre commented, "The paper adds to an already substantial amount of independent data from various sources indicating that hydraulic fracturing of deep shales does not impact fresh water aquifers. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suzuki Foundation, the University of Texas, the Groundwater Protection Council and others all state that hydraulic fracturing, when undertaken at safe distances from aquifers, does not negatively impact fresh water." Binnion added, "There are real risks and impacts regarding shale gas development just as there are real benefits. We want to move away from the myth that hydraulic fracturing contaminates groundwater and discuss the real issues of well construction, cementing and water handling at surface."

Some key preliminary findings include:

  • There is considerable geophysical data available including 2-D seismic, aeromagnetic surveys, lineament analysis, well logs and earthquake data that can be used to assess the impact of hydraulic fracturing on fault systems
  • Natural earthquakes in Quebec are almost always below 5 on the Richter scale and usually occur at depths of 10-25 kilometres, whereas hydraulic fracturing of the Utica takes place at depths of 1-2 kilometres.
  • Micro-seismic events (mini-earthquakes) like those produced by fracturing the Utica Shale (-4 to -3 on the Richter scale) release less energy than that of a brick hitting the ground from a height of 1 meter
  • Subsurface stresses and pore fluid pressures are the two most important factors governing fault failure or fault reactivation. Hydraulic fracturing does not involve large enough fluid volumes to activate a fault in a stable subsurface stress regime

The BAPE report recommends that the government map the major fault systems in Québec. "We have 30 years of data which allows for the most accurate mapping of the fault network characterizing the area of the Cambro-Ordovician deposits, the area being targeted for shale gas development," explains Brodylo. "Although the paper is not finalized, preliminary findings show that the geology and inherent fault stability in the St. Lawrence Lowlands means the risks of fracture stimulation used in natural gas development in the St. Lawrence Lowlands reactivating surface faults and affecting shallow aquifers are remote."

The study is limited to mapping fault systems, evaluating rock stresses, comparing seismic events and what the implications are for hydraulic fracturing operations. The paper focuses on geological factors that could pose risks to groundwater and it does not include the engineering of wells which is a major factor in protecting groundwater. A copy of the abstract for the paper and a PowerPoint presentation of its preliminary findings are both available on the company's website at www.questerre.com. Once the peer review process is complete, the full paper will be available to the public in both English and French.

Questerre undertook this paper as part of its ongoing commitment to transparency. In spring of 2010, the company became the first in Quebec to publicly disclose the additives it uses in hydraulic fracturing and it also released a French language video that explains the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes used in shale gas development.

Questerre Energy Corporation is an independent energy company focused on shale gas in North America. The Company is concentrated on establishing commerciality of its Utica shale gas discovery in the St. Lawrence Lowlands, Québec. Questerre is committed to the economic development of its resources in an environmentally conscious and socially responsible manner.

This news release does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States. These securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an available exemption from registration under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Contact Information

  • Questerre Energy Corporation
    Karen Carle
    Manager of public affairs
    403-835-1284
    403-777-1578 (FAX)
    kcarle@questerre.com