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The Lowlands are situated in Quebec, south of the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City. The exploration potential of the Lowlands is complemented by proximity to one of the largest natural gas markets in North America and a well-established distribution network.
The area is prospective for natural gas in several horizons with the primary target being the Utica shale. Secondary targets include the shallower Lorraine silts and shale and the deeper Trenton Black-River carbonate. The majority of Questerre’s one million gross acres lies in the heart of the fairway between two major geological features — Logan’s Line, a subsurface thrust fault to the east and the Yamaska growth fault to the west.
Following a successful vertical test well program in 2008 and 2009, Questerre and its partner, Repsol Oil & Gas Canada Inc. (formerly Talisman Energy Inc.), began a pilot horizontal well program to assess commerciality of the Utica shale in 2010. In the fall of 2010, the pilot program was suspended while the provincial government initiated the Strategic Environmental Assessment (“SEA”). In the summer of 2014, the government extended the tenure of exploration permits held to beyond 2021.
On December 12 2016 the National Assembly in Quebec passed as law Bill 106, An Act to implement the 2030 Energy Policy and amend various legislative provisions. These amendments include the enactment of the Petroleum Resources Act that will govern the development of petroleum resources in Quebec.
While the new legislation is still subject to amendment and final vote, the approval in principle this October was important. It marked the end of almost six years of public consultations and some of the most extensive environmental studies for oil and gas in Canada.
For more information on Bill 106, please visit http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/travaux-parlementaires/projets-loi/projet-loi-106-41-1.html.