CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 12, 2013) -
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION ON U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Questerre Energy Corporation ("Questerre" or the "Company") (TSX:QEC)(OSLO:QEC) is currently conducting testing operations on a Montney natural gas well, ("15-01" or the "Well"), in the Kakwa area, 45 kilometers north of Grand Cache, Alberta.
During a routine pressure test of the wellbore integrity we experienced an equipment failure resulting in an uncontrolled release of gas and fluids from the Well. Well site staff were all safely evacuated and first responders have secured the site.
All people on site are accounted for and there are no injuries. The RCMP temporarily closed the nearby highway until the situation was understood and it is now reopened. We have dispatched well control experts and a safety team to a nearby offsite command center.
The Company is working closely with the regulators to bring the Well under control as quickly as possible and to investigate the cause of the equipment failure.
Michael Binnion, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "A loss of well control is the most serious incident we can have in our business. This is the first in my career and I hoped that any company I worked with would never be involved in one." He added, "As an advocate for our industries' safety record it is simply unacceptable to be responsible for this accident. We will do everything possible to mitigate the situation and ensure it is not repeated."
During preliminary testing operations for the 15-01 well, H2S was detected which appears to be associated with the produced water. The natural gas was tested while drilling and was confirmed to be sweet natural gas.
Until it is conclusively proven that the H2S is from sour produced water, as a safety precaution the Well is being treated as a sour gas well.
Very sensitive H2S monitoring equipment is being operated in the area by our safety experts. To this point, trace amounts of H2S have been detected but nothing over 1 part per million.