Questerre says won't be affected by stricter Quebec fracking ban

Sept 24 Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:08am EDT

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Sept 24 (Reuters) - Any further restrictions on developing Quebec's shale gas resources are unlikely to affect the business plans of Canada's Questerre Energy, the company's chief executive said in a statement issued on Monday.

Questerre Chief Executive Michael Binnion was responding to remarks by Quebec's natural resources minister who said last week she does not believe hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the method widely used to extract shale gas, is safe.

Quebec, site of the gas-rich Utica and Lorraine shale gas formations, already has a moratorium using fracking as a panel studies the environmental impact.

Recommendations were expected by 2014, but the remarks by Natural Resource Minister Martine Ouellet signalled that Quebec's newly elected separatist government wants to put more restrictions on the shale gas industry.

"We were disappointed to hear that the minister does not believe modern completion techniques can ever be done safely," Binnion said in a statement.

"There is already a moratorium in Quebec. So the minister's comments about a moratorium have no impact on our business plan," he added.

Companies including Talisman Energy Inc and Questerre Energy Corp have suspended most operations in the province while a policy on gas development is hammered out.

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