Benchmark Energy Corp. reports on results from Ecopetrol pilot project in Colombia; plus payment of finder's fee in connection with the recently announced farm-in agreement in Brazil


    CALGARY, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Benchmark Energy Corp. ("Benchmark" or the
"Company"), (TSXV: BEE) reports that it has received the final results from
Ecopetrol S.A. ("Ecopetrol") regarding the previously announced pilot project
utilizing the proprietary well-performance enhancement technology for which
the Company has the preferential right for Colombia.
    Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between Benchmark and
Ecopetrol, Benchmark covered 100% of the cost of the pilot project, which
involved 2 wells within the Sardinata Field and 2 wells within the Petrolea
Field. A test on a 5th option well was never completed due to the lack of a
suitable well candidate being made available to Benchmark. Both Sardinata and
Petrolea are mature oil fields located in the Catatumbo Basin in northeastern

    Key conclusions from the Company and from Ecopetrol's report:

    -   The technology proved its capacity to penetrate the formation well
        beyond any conventional shooting tool;

    -   Higher levels of fluids were obtained after intervention in all cases
        (from 120 to 700 barrels of fluid in the Sardinata S30 well);

    -   The particular type of casing encountered in the originally-chosen
        wells in the Sardinata and Petrolea Fields was not typical because it
        is normally found in deeper, higher-pressure wells, and hindered the
        use of the well-performance enhancement technology; therefore
        Benchmark was not able to test the technology on the originally
        intended wells and instead had to test sub-optimal wells that were
        much older and more depleted;

    -   Petrolea is one of the most complex fields in Colombia which worked
        against the success of the pilot.

    In order to increase the chances of success in mature fields, it has been
determined that it is compulsory to have a specific quantity and quality of
field/well information; more than was available for this pilot project. In
addition the well-performance enhancement technology should be applied as a
production device in the following cases:

    -   To accelerate the recovery of proven reserves and to increase the
        proven reserves of a given field;

    -   To increase the drainage area of a formation and/or to surpass
        damaged zones in wells;

    -   In massive formations with low permeability;

    -   For water injection purposes.

    "Overall we are pleased with the results of the pilot project as it did
very much prove the efficacy of the technology, however the test wells did not
experience the expected increases in oil production due to the pilot being
limited to sub-optimal wells," said David R. Robinson, the President and Chief
Executive Officer of Benchmark. "Based upon the results, we intend to continue
to seek opportunities in Colombia, through Ecopetrol and other operators,
whereby Benchmark can farm-in to existing fields by using the technology.
Furthermore, we are in the process of negotiating to not only increase the
time-period for the Company's preferential right to the technology, but also
to expand our rights to other countries in the region. We hope to report on
this further in the near-future."
    Furthermore, the Company reports that, in connection with the recently
announced farm-in to BrazAlta Resources Corp.'s Espirito Santo Brazilian
Blocks, Benchmark will pay a finder's fee to Blur Investments Inc. consisting
of 175,000 common shares of Benchmark at $0.265 per share, plus 175,000 common
share purchase warrants exercisable at $0.40, with a term of 12-months. All
such common shares and warrants shall be subject to a 4-month hold period.

    Benchmark is a junior Canadian oil and gas exploration company, focused


    Statements in this press release may contain forward-looking information
including expectations of the results of the Ecopetrol pilot project in
Colombia. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of
such information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause
actual results to differ materially from those predicted, a result of numerous
known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are
beyond the control of the Company. These risks include, but are not limited
to, the risks associated with the oil and gas industry, commodity prices,
general economic conditions, conditions in the capital markets in Canada and
elsewhere and exchange rate changes. Industry related risks could include, but
are not limited to, operational risks in exploration, development and
production, delays or changes in plans, risks associated with the uncertainty
of reserve estimates, health and safety risks and the uncertainty of estimates
and projections of production, costs and expenses.

    This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the
solicitation of any offer to buy the securities in any jurisdiction.

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

For further information:

For further information: Benchmark Energy Corp., David R. Robinson,
President & CEO, Phone: (403) 802-0770, Fax: (403) 266-5732, E-Mail:

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