Enerplus announces review of strategic options for Joslyn oil sands interest



    TSX: ERF.UN
    NYSE:   ERF

    CALGARY, March 25 /CNW/ - Enerplus Resources Fund ("Enerplus") today
announced that it is commencing a review of strategic options regarding its
15% working interest in the Joslyn oil sands lease ("Joslyn"). Joslyn is
located in the Athabasca oil sands fairway in northeastern Alberta and
consists of both mining and steam assisted gravity drainage ("SAGD")
development projects.
    Enerplus' oil sands portfolio is comprised of three principal
investments: a 100% working interest in the operated Kirby SAGD project
("Kirby"); a 15% non-operated working interest in the Joslyn mining and SAGD
project; and a 12% equity investment in Laricina Energy Ltd., ("Laricina") a
private oil sands company pursuing SAGD projects.
    A strategic review of Enerplus' portfolio of oil sands and conventional
projects has resulted in the decision to consider options to rebalance the
portfolio. Enerplus' low risk, distribution-oriented business model
necessitates a portfolio of assets that provide near-term cash flow, future
growth potential and an appropriate balance of commodities. Managing the
future capital requirements of the portfolio while maintaining financial
flexibility is critical to the long-term success of Enerplus. While Enerplus
believes that both Joslyn and Kirby provide attractive long-term potential,
the operated nature of the Kirby project provides enhanced control over the
timing and nature of our capital spending profile. In addition, there are more
SAGD opportunities within Canada for future growth and SAGD is better suited
to Enerplus' technical competencies and business model.
    Enerplus first acquired a 16% working interest in Joslyn from Deer Creek
Energy Ltd. ("Deer Creek") in 2002. Deer Creek was subsequently acquired by
Total E&P Canada in September 2005. In early 2006, Enerplus sold a 1% interest
in Joslyn to Laricina for a common equity interest.
    Enerplus acquired Kirby in early 2007 and is currently focusing its
efforts on the staged development of the lease which Enerplus believes has the
potential to produce 30,000 - 40,000 barrels of bitumen per day. Preliminary
internal assessments of the winter delineation program are positive. A total
of 55 delineation wells and 3 water source and disposal wells were drilled. As
a result, Enerplus expects positive revisions to the existing estimates of
contingent resources later this year.
    Should the strategic review result in a decision to sell all or a portion
of Joslyn, sale proceeds would initially be used to reduce Enerplus' current
bank debt. Given the Fund's conservative balance sheet, such sale proceeds
would reinforce Enerplus' borrowing capacity, enhance its ability to fund
future capital spending and acquisition activity, and minimize future equity
dilution.
    Enerplus has retained RBC Capital Markets to act as its exclusive
financial advisor and assist in the strategic review.

    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 strategic review and potential disposition of
the Fund's Joslyn oil sands resources; the estimated volumes of certain of the
Fund's 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; future acquisitions and dispositions; and the use
of proceeds 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: changes in commodity prices;
changes in development plans the Fund or by third party operators of the
Fund's properties, including the operator of the Joslyn oil sands project; the
potential that the strategic review or disposition of the Joslyn assets will
not produce the results desired by Enerplus; increased debt levels or debt
service requirements; inaccurate estimation of the Fund's and Focus' 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).
    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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