CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2012) -
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) reported today that Red Leaf Resources, Inc., ("Red Leaf") has joint ventured with a US affiliate of Total S.A., one of the largest international integrated oil companies, to develop oil shale in Utah.
Red Leaf announced that together with Total, the joint venture will launch an Early Production System ("EPS") to demonstrate the commercial scalability of Red Leaf's EcoShale In-Capsule Process on their oil shale acreage in the Uinta Basin of Utah. Total will fund an 80% share of the EPS expenses estimated at US$200 million. The EPS follows a successful field pilot. It is intended to prove the economic and environmental attributes of the process at a larger scale. Red Leaf and Total subsequently plan to launch an advanced commercial project on approximately 11,000 acres of jointly held acreage for oil shale. Total will also fund an 80% share of the first US$200 million of the commercial production phase of operations.
As part of its agreement with Red Leaf, Total has the right to license the EcoShale technology for use on other future oil shale projects worldwide and has become a shareholder of Red Leaf. Questerre recently invested US$40 million in Red Leaf to acquire just under 6% of the equity of Red Leaf. Questerre also entered into a joint venture agreement with Red Leaf to develop its oil shale acreage in Wyoming and an agreement to obtain licenses to utilize the Red Leaf process. Red Leaf also reported that it has completed its US$100 million equity offering in connection with the closing of the Total joint venture.
As announced in the press release issued by Red Leaf on April 18, 2012, "The partnership with Red Leaf furthers our commitment to developing unconventional resources", explained John Bannerman, Chief Executive Officer of Total E&P USA, Inc. "Given the magnitude of oil shale resources, in particular in the US, we believe that this project has an important long term potential for global energy markets. Red Leaf has a strong technical and scientific team generating interesting original ideas. We look forward to working with them to develop leading edge sustainable and environmentally responsible oil shale extraction technologies."
Referencing the joint venture, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert stated, "As Utah is focused on our long-range, strategic plan to keep energy prices low and supplies stable, I'm pleased to see more investment and energy development happening. We're committed to ensuring that Utah remains a leader in energy production and exports."
"From our very beginning, Red Leaf set out to solve the environmental, produced oil quality and economic challenges surrounding oil shale development," explained Jim Patten, Red Leaf's Chief Executive Officer. "The EcoShale process resolves critical issues, including emissions, use of water, the amount of energy required to emancipate oil from the rock and surface remediation and reclamation. The Red Leaf technology also produces a high quality oil at a very economical cost. We believe that Total's due diligence in reaching this joint venture validates the science and technology behind the Red Leaf EcoShale process."
Questerre Energy Corporation is an independent energy company focused on non-conventional oil and gas resources. The Company is currently developing a portfolio of oil shale assets in North America. It is also securing a social license to commercialize its Utica natural gas discovery in Quebec. The Company is underpinned by light oil assets and a strong balance sheet. Questerre is committed to the economic development of its resources in an environmentally conscious and socially responsible manner.
This news release contains certain statements which constitute forward-looking statements or information ("forward-looking statements"), including the anticipated joint venture operations with Total on the Utah project. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, our forward-looking statements have been based on factors and assumptions concerning future events which may prove to be inaccurate. Those factors and assumptions are based upon currently available information available to the Company. Such statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could influence actual results or events and cause actual results or events to differ materially from those stated, anticipated or implied in the forward looking statements. As such, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward looking statements, as no assurance can be provided as to future results, levels of activity or achievements. The risks, uncertainties, material assumptions and other factors that could affect actual results are discussed in our Annual Information Form and other documents available at www.sedar.com. Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this document are made as of the date of this document and, except as required by applicable law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements contained in this document are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
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.