Enerplus announces agreement to sell its interest in Joslyn oil sands for $500 million



    TSX: ERF.UN
    NYSE:   ERF

    CALGARY, June 23 /CNW/ - Enerplus Resources Fund ("Enerplus") announced
today that it has entered into an agreement to sell its 15% working interest
in the Joslyn oil sands lease ("Joslyn") to Occidental Petroleum Corporation
for proceeds of $500 million which, including adjustments but before
transaction costs, is estimated to be $510 million at closing. Enerplus plans
to use the proceeds initially to reduce bank debt but expects to redeploy the
funds towards accretive acquisitions and development opportunities. The
transaction, which is subject to customary conditions, consents and regulatory
approvals, is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2008.
    Enerplus' oil sands strategy is focused on in-situ development such as
steam assisted gravity drainage ("SAGD") projects due to the scalability,
investment profile and technical similarities to conventional production. This
strategy is further supported by the fact that 80% of Canada's oil sands
resources are expected to be recovered through in-situ methods versus mining
projects thereby offering more opportunities to expand our portfolio over
time.
    Enerplus has successfully built a SAGD team which is currently focusing
on our Kirby project. Enerplus is the sole owner and operator of Kirby which
provides enhanced control over capital expenditures and execution of the
project. In the first quarter of 2008 Enerplus announced encouraging winter
drilling results at Kirby and we expect to update the contingent resource
assessment for the project in the second half of 2008. Enerplus remains on
track to file the regulatory application for the initial 10,000 bbl/day
project at Kirby this fall. We also intend to pursue additional expansion
phases at Kirby that could increase production to 30,000 - 40,000 bbl/day.
Enerplus believes that our experience operating the Kirby project will allow
us to further expand our portfolio of in-situ opportunities over time.
    Joslyn is located in northeastern Alberta and contains both mining and
SAGD development potential. Enerplus acquired a 16% interest in Joslyn in 2002
and subsequently sold a 1% interest to Laricina Energy Ltd. in early 2006 in
exchange for common stock in that company which we continue to hold today.
Enerplus will have invested approximately $115 million on its 15% interest in
Joslyn since inception. We do not expect to pay any cash taxes in connection
with this transaction and the transaction will have an immaterial impact our
long-term taxability.
    As at December 31, 2007 Enerplus reported third party engineering reserve
and contingent resource estimates between 315 and 370 million barrels
depending on the final lease development plan which is currently under review
by the operator. We have recorded 63.5 million barrels of proved and probable
reserves associated with the current SAGD development plan which includes $420
million of future development capital.
    For additional information regarding reserve and contingent resource
estimates associated with the Joslyn project, see Enerplus' year-end press
release dated February 28, 2008 and our Annual Information Form for the year
ended December 31, 2007 dated March 13, 2008.
    We intend to redeploy the unspent portion of the 2008 Joslyn capital
budget (estimated at approximately $40 million) into additional conventional
projects scheduled for later this year. Due to the timing of this capital
redeployment, we would not expect to see an impact on production volumes until
2009.
    Enerplus currently has a conservative balance sheet with a
debt-to-trailing 12-month cash flow ratio of approximately 1.0 times. We
expect the proceeds from the Josyln sale to further reinforce our balance
sheet, reducing our debt-to-trailing 12-month cash flow ratio to approximately
0.5 times. This will enhance our ability to fund capital programs and
acquisition activity, as well as minimize future equity dilution associated
with these growth opportunities.
    RBC Capital Markets acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Enerplus
on the oil sands strategic review and the Joslyn sale process.

    Gordon J. Kerr
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Enerplus Resources Fund


    FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND STATEMENTS

    This news release contains certain forward-looking information and
statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of
the words "expect", "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "objective",
"ongoing", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "plans", "intends",
"strategy" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking
information or statements. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing,
this news release contains forward-looking information and statements
pertaining to the following: the completion of the sale of Enerplus' Joslyn
oil sands project and the timing thereof; Enerplus' future oil sands strategy,
including related to the Kirby project; the estimated volumes of certain of
Enerplus' oil and gas reserves and resources and future revisions to those
estimates; future development, exploration, acquisition and development
activities (including drilling plans) and related capital expenditures,
including with respect to the development of the Kirby and Joslyn leases and
future SAGD opportunities; and the use of proceeds and impact on Enerplus'
financial position from the potential disposition of the Joslyn interest.
    The forward-looking information and statements contained in this news
release reflect several material factors and expectations and assumptions of
the Fund including, without limitation: the general continuance of current
industry conditions; the continuance of existing (and in certain
circumstances, the implementation of proposed) tax, royalty and regulatory
regimes; the accuracy of the estimates of the Fund's reserve and resource
volumes; certain commodity price and other cost assumptions; and the continued
availability of adequate debt and equity financing and cash flow to fund its
plans expenditures. The Fund believes the material factors, expectations and
assumptions reflected in the forward-looking information and statements are
reasonable but no assurance can be given that these factors, expectations and
assumptions will prove to be correct.
    The forward-looking information and statements included in this news
release are not guarantees of future performance and should not be unduly
relied upon. Such information and statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to
differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information
or statements including, without limitation: failure to complete the sale of
Enerplus' Joslyn interest, including as a result of the failure to obtain the
required regulatory approvals; changes in commodity prices; changes in
development plans by the Fund or by third party operators of the Fund's
properties; inaccurate estimation of the Fund's oil and gas reserve and
resource volumes; and certain other risks detailed from time to time in the
Fund's public disclosure documents (including, without limitation, those risks
identified in this news release and in the Fund's Annual Information Form) for
the year ended December 31, 2007 dated March 13, 2008.
    The forward-looking information and statements contained in this news
release speak only as of the date of this news release, and none of the Fund
or its subsidiaries assumes any obligation to publicly update or revise them
to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required pursuant to
applicable laws.

    %CIK: 0001126874




For further information:

For further information: Investor Relations at 1-800-319-6462 or email
investorrelations@enerplus.com


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