Benchmark settles lawsuit; continuing strategic review process

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES/

CALGARY, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Benchmark Energy Corp. (TSXV: BEE) ("Benchmark" or the "Company") announces that it has settled an outstanding lawsuit against it (the "settlement").

As disclosed in the Company's year-end financials dated June 30, 2009 (the "financials"), subsequent to the year-end, Benchmark was named as a Defendant in a $6,000,000 lawsuit with respect to the sale of the Company's 33.33% interest in the Cosmos Concession. As noted in the financials, the Plaintiff in the lawsuit alleged that Benchmark did not have the authority to sell such interest. As also noted in the financials, and despite the settlement, Benchmark denies these allegations. However, Benchmark's Board of Directors came to the conclusion that the settlement was necessary in order to permit the Company to proceed with strategic alternatives potentially available to Benchmark under the review process announced by the Company on June 16, 2009. This process is being undertaken with the intention of maximizing shareholder value.

Strategic alternatives for Benchmark may include the sale of the Company or some or all of its oil and natural gas interests, an amalgamation or reorganization with a company with producing oil and natural gas assets in Canada or elsewhere, or such other transaction with the intent of maximizing shareholder value. There are currently 25,758,578 common shares of Benchmark outstanding.

No decision on any particular strategic alternative has been reached at this time and there can be no assurance that the process will result in any change in the Company's current operations, that the Company will pursue any particular transaction or that any transaction will be concluded. The Company does not intend to make any further announcement regarding the process unless and until its Board of Directors has approved a specific transaction or other course of action or otherwise deems disclosure of developments is appropriate.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information set forth in this press release, including management's assessment of future plans and operations, contains forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond management's control, including the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of reserve or resource estimates, environmental risks, competition from other industry participants, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, stock market volatility and the ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits will derive from them. Benchmark disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE BENCHMARK ENERGY CORP.

For further information: For further information: Benchmark Energy Corp., David Robinson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Tel: (403) 399-9047, Email: drr@benchmarkenergy.com

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BENCHMARK ENERGY CORP.

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