Penn West Energy Trust announces credit commitment, updates hedging activity and confirms its December cash distribution



    CALGARY, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - (TSX - PWT.UN; NYSE - PWE) Penn West Energy
Trust ("Penn West") is pleased to announce it recently secured $4 billion of
credit commitments from a syndicate of eighteen Canadian and international
banks. The proposed three-year credit facility is expected to close in early
January 2008 and is conditional on the successful closing of Penn West's
proposed merger with Canetic Resources Trust ("Canetic"). The new credit
facility will be initially used to retire Penn West's advances on its current
bank facilities and to retire all bank debt to be assumed on the proposed
acquisition of Vault Energy Trust ("Vault") and the proposed merger with
Canetic, both of which are expected to occur in January 2008. In addition, the
new credit facility will bolster the combined trust's financial flexibility by
adding significant additional credit capacity.
    In January 2008, subject to the approval of the proposed plan of
arrangement by Canetic's unitholders, the combined trust will form the largest
oil and natural gas trust by a wide margin, possess the largest conventional
light oil property portfolio in Western Canada, and have expected average 2008
production of 200,000 to 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The
combined trust's asset base, along with its combined technical competencies
and financial capacity, will enable the pursuit of a wide variety of
conventional, unconventional and strategic opportunities to increase
unitholder returns.
    Penn West also announces it has entered into AECO natural gas collars on
50,000 gigajoules ("GJ") per day (equivalent to approximately 46 mmcf per day)
for the seven month period from April 2008 to October 2008. These collars were
transacted with an average floor price of CDN$6.06 per GJ (approximately
CDN$6.61 per mcf) and an average ceiling price of CDN$6.60 per GJ
(approximately CDN$7.19 per mcf). The volume hedged by these contracts
represents approximately 19 percent of Penn West's expected daily natural gas
production (prior to the effect of the Canetic merger), after royalties, for
the contracted period and is consistent with policies established by the Board
of Directors of the Trust and the Trust's ongoing risk management programs.
    Additionally, Penn West has entered into electricity contracts on 30
megawatts, at an average price of $76.23 per megawatt hour, for a 3-year
period beginning January 2008 through December 2010. This represents
approximately 40% of Penn West's expected power load (prior to the effect of
the Canetic merger).
    Penn West confirms that its December 2007 cash distribution will be
CDN$0.34 per trust unit payable on January 15, 2008 to unitholders of record
on December 31, 2007. This represents the Trust's twenty-third consecutive
monthly distribution of this amount. The ex-distribution date is December 27,
2007.
    The CDN$0.34 per unit is equivalent to approximately US$0.34 per unit
(before deduction of any applicable Canadian withholding tax), using a current
currency exchange of one Canadian dollar equals US$0.99. Registered
unitholders with U.S. addresses will receive their distributions directly from
our transfer agent, and will be paid in U.S. currency using the exchange rate
in effect on the record date. Non-registered U.S. unitholders will receive
their distributions through their brokers.

    Forward-looking Statements

    Certain statements contained in this document constitute forward-looking
statements or information (collectively "forward-looking statements") within
the meaning of the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable securities
legislation. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such
as "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "forecast", "may", "will",
"project", "could", "plan", "intend", "should", "believe", "outlook",
"potential", "target" and similar words suggesting future events or future
performance. In particular, this document contains, without limitation,
forward-looking statements pertaining to the following: Penn West's proposed
new credit facility, including the terms thereof, the timing of closing
thereof, the use of proceeds thereof and the benefits to be derived therefrom;
Penn West's proposed acquisition of Vault and merger with Canetic, including
the timing of closing thereof, the attributes of Penn West following the
closing thereof, the nature of the combined trust's assets and financial
capacity including its credit capacity, the combined trust's anticipated 2008
production levels, the combined trust's opportunities, and the combined
trust's ability to increase unitholder returns; the expected natural gas
production volumes of Penn West during the referenced period; and the expected
power loads of Penn West during the referenced period.
    With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this document, we
have made assumptions regarding, among other things: Penn West's ability to
finalize credit agreements, retire the bank debt of Vault and Canetic and
maintain excess credit capacity, Penn West's natural gas production levels
during the referenced period; Penn West's power load requirements during the
referenced period; and the receipt of applicable securityholder and regulatory
approvals and the completion of the acquisition of Vault and the merger with
Canetic.
    Although Penn West believes that the expectations reflected in the
forward-looking statements contained in this document, and the assumptions on
which such forward-looking statements are made, are reasonable, there can be
no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are
cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements included
in this document as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or
expectations upon which the forward-looking statements are based will occur.
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions,
known and unknown risks and uncertainties that contribute to the possibility
that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking
statements will not occur, which may cause Penn West's actual performance and
financial results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or
projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other
things: risks associated with the finalization of credit agreements pursuant
to new credit agreements and retire its existing facilities and those of Vault
and Canetic, the proposed acquisition of Vault and the proposed merger with
Canetic, including failure to realize anticipated synergies, risks regarding
the integration of the entities, incorrect assessments of the values of the
entities, failure to obtain the required securityholder, court, regulatory and
other third party approvals and the timing of completion of the acquisition
and merger; and the other factors described in Penn West's public filings
(including its Annual Information Form) available in Canada at www.sedar.com
and in the United States at www.sec.gov. Readers are cautioned that this list
of risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive.
    The forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as
of the date of this document. Except as expressly required by applicable
securities laws, Penn West does not undertake any obligation to publicly
update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements
contained in this document are expressly qualified by this cautionary
statement.

    Barrels of Oil Equivalent

    "Barrels of oil equivalent" is expressed on the basis of one barrel of
oil equals six thousand cubic feet of natural gas. Barrels of oil equivalent
may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A conversion ratio of
one barrel of oil equals six thousand cubic feet of natural gas is based on an
energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip
and might not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.

    Penn West Energy Trust is a senior oil and natural gas energy trust based
in Calgary, Alberta that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol
PWT.UN and on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PWE.

    %SEDAR: 00022266E          %CIK: 0001334388




For further information:

For further information: PENN WEST ENERGY TRUST, Suite 2200, 425 - First
Street S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 3L8, Phone: (403) 777-2500, Toll-free:
1-866-693-2707, Fax: (403) 777-2699, Website: www.pennwest.com; Investor
Relations: Phone: 1-888-770-2633, E-mail: investor_relations@pennwest.com,
William Andrew, President and CEO, Phone: (403) 777-2502


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