Oilsands Quest: Drilling Program Ahead of Schedule

Oilsands Quest Inc., formerly CanWest Petroleum Corporation, said that two core drilling rigs are now operating on its oil sands exploration permits in northwest Saskatchewan and a third rig is expected to start drilling tomorrow. Drilling began on November 3 and, as a result of favorable weather conditions, drilling activities are being stepped up.

For winter 2006/07, Oilsands Quest has planned an aggressive drilling program of up to 250 core holes. "We are ahead of schedule, with excellent field conditions resulting from consistent cold weather," said Christopher H. Hopkins, President & Chief Executive Officer of Oilsands Quest, which is undertaking the first major oil sands exploration program in Saskatchewan. "We are delighted that we are able to ramp up activities as a result of favorable weather which of course, for our needs, means continuing cold temperatures."

The winter drilling season in northwest Saskatchewan, typically from November to April, is dependent on cold weather. During the past week, temperatures have been consistently below freezing with average high temperatures of about -8 Celsius (17 Fahrenheit) and lows of about -13 Celsius (-8 Fahrenheit).

The first of eight rigs planned to conduct the company's winter 2006/07 core drilling program began drilling Friday, November 3. The second drilling rig arrived last week and began drilling Friday, November 17. The third rig is expected to commence drilling on Thursday.

To accommodate operations personnel at its permit area, two more camps are scheduled for arrival this winter, one in December and the second in January. As camp facilities and drilling equipment are deployed, drilling operations will continue to accelerate. Oilsands Quest's winter 2006/07 drilling program includes approximately 100 delineation holes in the original discovery area and up to another 150 holes to identify resource leads over a larger area. Oilsands Quest plans to shut down its drilling operations over Christmas and, with continuing favorable conditions, expects its drilling program to be fully operational, at eight rigs, by the end of January.

A public company, Oilsands Quest Inc. is engaged in a variety of projects in the oil and gas industry in Western Canada with an emphasis on oil sands and oil shale exploration.


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