Michael Binnion is the President and founding shareholder of Questerre Energy, a public oil and gas production company operating in Quebec. Questerre and its predecessor have been pioneers in natural gas exploration in Quebec for the last twenty years.
Mr. Binnion is a seasoned entrepreneur with a history of starting, financing and managing companies, primarily in the oil and gas sector. From 1996 to 2000 he was President of CanArgo Energy, one of the first Western companies to engage in oil and gas exploration in the Republic of Georgia. He played an active role in helping introduce legislation and a regulatory framework for the oil and gas industry in the country.
Recognized internationally for his expertise in modern resource extraction technology, he presents at numerous conferences each year.
Of course industry is biased, its little more than saying we are human. That we legally have to disclose our bias doesn't make us wrong. With millions and ideology at stake, to think political activists are not also biased is naïve.
The Quebec Government announced that it will update its energy policy. Public consultations are already underway. The Government also announced a commission to study ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The question 'would you live by a gas well' is designed to be a 'gotcha' question. The presumption that oil and gas people who obviously understand their own industry best, would therefore never live by an oil and gas well. It is another example of the gross misunderstanding our industry has allowed to perpetuate in Quebec and elsewhere.
I learned French in 30 days. Well not really. It's probably fairer to say I'm still trying to perfect my English.
Over two years ago I embarked on a tour of Quebec to give translated presentations on our industry to what was then quite a hostile population. Unexpectedly these presentations, while emotionally draining, were surprisingly effective.
The Minister of Finance for Quebec issued his economic and financial update on March 28,2013. He says there is basically no problem because a loss of tax and royalty revenue is offset by increases in equalization.
I really thought the conversation on local natural gas development had moved beyond the mania of an availability cascade in Quebec. Everyone tells me I am optimistic and last week's report in La Presse proves them right.
Some people are calling the deal that transferred exploration licenses from Hydro Quebec to two Quebec junior oil and gas companies 'the theft of the century'. The terms of the deal are private.
One President said he negotiated hard to get a good deal and he was satisfied with the result. This outraged opponents. When I said on twitter it was his job to negotiate a good deal, opponents said it only showed that Questerre was arrogant also.
After ten years of industry exploration and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment the Government is for a third time changing the rules of the game and ripping up their written contractual promises. Legislation is to be presented by Quebec's minority Government to add drilling to the existing moratorium on fracking. This even though no one would ask to drill a well if they couldn't frack it.
You may have heard about Petrolia having troubles drilling their well in the Gaspe due to special new rules made by the municipality.
It shouldn't be a surprise that a municipality decided to make its own rules. The Government of Quebec won't tell anyone how it works or what the benefits are. It's like a national secret kept securely in the vaults of the BAPE.
The decision of the past Government of Quebec to reverse course and order a BAPE review was a financial disaster for Questerre and others. Having lost much of our stock value due to well delays, we lost most of the balance, when the BAPE stunned us with its recommendations.
I went to Toronto, New York, London and especially Oslo to explain the resource potential of Quebec. I told all who would listen how Quebec had worked for over a generation to become energy independent. I told them Questerre had an idea for natural gas that could help Quebec achieve its energy independence dreams. I was successful and convinced them to take the high risks involved and we were successful in finding one of the largest natural gas fields in North America.
According to an old Dutch friend of mine, there is a Dutch saying that goes "what you say is what's in your heart". Basically it means what you say about other people can be a sign of what you yourself believe and how you behave. For example an unfounded accusation of duplicity could actually be the sign of a duplicitous nature.