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CALGARY, Dec. 28 /CNW/ - BENCHMARK ENERGY CORP. ("Benchmark" or the
"Company" - TSX Venture: BEE) is pleased to report that Calgary-based Storm
Ventures International Inc. ("SVI") has successfully completed the acquisition
of a significant interest in the Cosmos concession in Tunisia in which
Benchmark is a net 31.67% interest holder; SVI is the new operator of the
concession. Benchmark has the option upon meeting certain conditions to
increase its interest in the Cosmos concession to a net 45.84%. As part of
this transaction, Benchmark has the right to acquire a net 47.5% interest in
the nearby Yasmin concession, in which SVI has also acquired a material
interest. SVI will also be the operator of the Yasmin concession.
Separately, Benchmark has agreed in principle with a small carried
interest holder in the Cosmos concession regarding acquiring the carried
interest which would increase the Company's interest in the concession to
47.5% upon exercising the option noted above. Both the Cosmos and Yasmin
concessions are subject to a 20% back-in right held by ETAP, the national oil
company of Tunisia.
The Cosmos and Yasmin concessions are located in the Gulf of Hammamet,
approximately 45 kilometers offshore Tunisia, in water depths of between 100
and 165 meters. The Cosmos Sud structure was drilled and tested in 1983; oil
was produced from the Birsa sands of Miocene age. A 3D seismic survey was shot
over the discovery in 1985, and was re-processed in 1995. Yasmin was
discovered in 1976 and also tested oil from the Birsa sands; a 3D seismic
survey was shot over the Yasmin structure in 1986.
SVI has prepared a development plan for the Cosmos concession which will
be presented to the government authorities in Tunisia during the first quarter
of 2008. SVI has targeted first production from Cosmos during the third
quarter of 2009. The independent engineering firm of Sproule Associates
Limited, in Calgary, has been retained by Benchmark and SVI to prepare an
NI 51-101 reserve report on the Cosmos concession.
The Company further reports that it has arranged a non-brokered private
placement for up to 4,000,000 units ("Units") of the Company at a price of
$0.50 per Unit for gross proceeds of $2 million (the Offering"). Each Unit
consists of one common share ("Common Share") and one half of one common share
purchase warrant (a "Warrant"). Each whole Warrant entitles the holder thereof
to acquire one Common Share at an exercise price of $0.75 per Common Share at
any time on or before the 12-month anniversary of the closing of the Offering.
The Common Shares and Warrants issued pursuant to the Offering are subject to
a four-month hold period. Finders' fees are payable to selling agents in
conjunction with the offering.
Proceeds from the Offering will be added to working capital, with some of
this to be used by Benchmark to increase its interests in Tunisia as discussed
Benchmark Energy is a junior Canadian oil and gas exploration and
development Company, focused internationally. In addition to its interests in
Tunisia, the Company has undertaken a pilot project in Colombia with
Ecopetrol, the national oil company of Colombia, and is negotiating the
possible acquisition of a mature, producing field in Argentina.
THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OR ADEQUACY OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS NEWS
For further information:
For further information: Benchmark Energy Corp., 1414 Eighth Street
S.W., Suite 260 Calgary, Alberta, T2R 1J6, Canada, Telephone: (403) 802-0770,
Facsimile: (403) 266-5732, David R. Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org),
President and CEO