Sterling Resources announces first quarter operating and financial results

CALGARY, May 18 /CNW/ - Sterling Resources Ltd., (TSX-V:SLG) ("Sterling" or the "Company") an international oil and gas company with exploration and development assets in the United Kingdom, Romania and France, announces interim operating and financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. Unless otherwise noted all figures contained in this report are denominated in Canadian dollars.

Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 was $1,234,054 ($0.01 per share - basic and diluted) compared to a net loss of $1,153,937 ($0.01 per share - basic and diluted) for the three months ended March 31, 2009. During the quarter Sterling recorded foreign exchange gains of $3,494,678 compared to losses of $73,320 during the first quarter of 2009. This was due mainly to unrealized foreign exchange gains on translation of our US dollar cash and cash equivalents into the Company's functional currency, the UK pound. Foreign exchange losses as a result of translating, assets and liabilities including non-monetary property plant and equipment and other items, from UK functional currency into Canadian dollars are included in other comprehensive loss.

Net working capital was $63,909,004 at March 31, 2010 compared to net working capital of $72,674,784 at December 31, 2009. Supplementary financing will be needed in order to ensure we are fully funded for our share of the Breagh development program as well as the exploration program for the balance of 2010. In order to ensure that sufficient funding is in place, we are continuing our negotiations for a senior debt facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Negotiations are continuing with the intent that the facility will be fully in place by the time development consent is received from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This is currently anticipated early in the third quarter of 2010.

During the three months ended March 31, 2010 capital expenditures on oil and gas properties totaled $6,098,714. Of this total approximately $2.3 million is attributable to preliminary Breagh development costs, $1.8 million relates to preliminary well costs for the Airidh and Macanta prospects located in the greater Breagh area, $1.0 million relates to capitalized overhead and miscellaneous costs relating to License Round applications and $0.2 million relates to development costs for the Kirkleatham gas prospect onshore UK.

Sterling's Annual General and Special Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 AM Mountain time in the Strand/Tivoli Room at the Metropolitan Centre (333 - 4th Avenue S.W.) in Calgary, Alberta. Shareholders and other interested parties who are unable to attend the meeting in person are invited to join the meeting via webcast at http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/viewEvent.cgi?eventID=3070540. The meeting will also be available on an archival basis at this URL for 90 days following the meeting.

    
    United Kingdom
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Drilling of the Airidh and Macanta prospects are currently planned for the greater Breagh area in Quad 42 in which Sterling holds a 30% interest. Drilling is anticipated to begin in late May at the Airidh prospect located to the south of the Breagh field, and will target the first potential satellite tieback to the developing Breagh infrastructure. Drilling of the Macanta well is expected to start in late June.

The Cladhan prospect on Block 210/29a which had been anticipated to spud in mid May, subject to the availability of the J.W. McLean rig, will now commence drilling in late June or early July. The rig is currently committed to another operator in the North Sea, who has started the last well in a multi-well program, before the rig comes to Cladhan. Sterling maintains a 39.9% working interest in the Cladhan prospect.

Drilling of the Grian prospect in Block 48 of the UK North Sea is still expected to occur during the third quarter of 2010. Site survey work at the Grian prospect is now complete with Sterling currently holding a 57% working interest.

On May 16, 2010 the Company announced the signing of a farm-in agreement to acquire a 25% working interest in UK Central North Sea Blocks 21/21, 21/22 and 21/27b. The Blakeney prospect on Block 21/27b is scheduled to be drilled in the third quarter.

During the fall of 2010 the UK onshore Kirkleatham gas project is anticipated to commence production following execution of a sales agreement with Sembcorp. Sterling currently holds a 47% working interest in the Kirkleatham project.

    
    Romania
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The Company continues to be cautiously optimistic that the farm-out arrangement with Melrose Resources PLC and license transfers will receive regulatory approval allowing us to prepare application for development approval from the Romanian authorities for the Doina/Ana field offshore Romania in the Black Sea.

Plans for the drilling of the offshore Eugenia prospect in the Pelican Block of the Romanian Black Sea are progressing. Drilling of this well is anticipated to take place during the third quarter of the year, subject to the satisfactory resolution of the license transfer issue with the Romanian regulatory authorities. Sterling will be carried for the cost of this well, and after assignments, will hold a 32.5% working interest.

The three well onshore drilling program in Romania was completed during the first quarter. Following extensive evaluation, including formation testing, it has been concluded that although there is a working source and migration pathway for this play, the required development of good reservoir was missing in this part of the block. However, reservoir development is expected to improve further north in the block where the canyon system is deeper. The cost of drilling these three wells was borne by our partner on this project in order for them to earn a 50% working interest.

Sterling Resources Ltd. is a Canadian-listed international oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta with assets in the United Kingdom, Romania and France. The shares are listed and posted for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "SLG".

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that Sterling expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. In addition, statements relating to reserves or resources are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions that the reserves and resources described can be profitably produced in the future.

These forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions made by Sterling based on its experience, perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. In addition, these statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other-forward looking statements will prove inaccurate, certain of which are beyond Sterling's control, including: the impact of general economic conditions in the areas in which Sterling operates, civil unrest, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, fluctuations in commodity prices, foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. In addition there are risks and uncertainties associated with oil and gas operations. Readers should also carefully consider the matters discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form.

Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. Sterling's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of the press release. Sterling does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.

Financial outlook information contained in this press release about prospective results of operations, financial position or cash flows is based on assumptions about future events, including economic conditions and proposed courses of action, based on management's assessment of the relevant information currently available. Readers are cautioned that such financial outlook information contained in this press release should not be used for purpose other than for which it is disclosed herein.

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SOURCE Sterling Resources Ltd.

For further information: For further information: visit www.sterling-resources.com or contact: Stewart G. Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, Phone: 44-133082-6717, Mobile: 44-7768-042219, stewart@sterling-resources.co.uk; George Kesteven, Manager, Corporate & Investor Relations, Phone: (403) 215-9265, Fax: (403) 215-9279, george@sterling-resources.com


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