Connacher Announces Future Direction

CALGARY, Jan. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - After the recently announced management changes, Connacher Oil and Gas Limited (TSX: CLL) wishes to update shareholders and other investors regarding its future plans. The company continues to experience strong financial results and expects to continue to do so assuming crude oil and bitumen prices, as well as favorable heavy oil differentials, continue at or near current levels. The company has sufficient liquidity to meet all of its current financial obligations, including the repayment of its convertible debentures in June, interest payments on its Senior Secured Notes in February and August and funding its announced 2012 capital program.

The company's Board of Directors has initiated a process to review Connacher's business plan and to identify, examine and consider all strategies available to the company, both near and long term, in order to prudently determine the optimal course of action for the company.  Goldman Sachs has been engaged to assist the Board of Directors in connection with this strategic review. Connacher does not intend to make any further announcements regarding its review unless and until its Board of Directors has approved a particular course of action or otherwise deems disclosure of developments is appropriate.

In the meantime, the Company would like to reassure shareholders and other stakeholders that the company's day-to-day operations are stable with no compromise in operating activities, thanks to the many dedicated and qualified Officers and staff of the company.

Ms. Brenda Hughes was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the company in January 2012.  Ms. Hughes is a Chartered Accountant with in excess of 15 years experience with a variety of Canadian crude oil and natural gas companies.  Ms. Hughes joined the company in May 2010.

Mr. Merle Johnson is Vice President Engineering and has been with the company since June 2007.  Mr. Johnson is a Professional Engineer with extensive oil sands and heavy oil experience and is currently responsible for all engineering disciplines in Canada, with a primary emphasis on the management and development of Connacher's oil sands properties at Great Divide.

Mr. Stephen Marston is Vice President Exploration, a position he has held since January 2006.  Mr. Marston is a Professional Geophysicist with 25 years of industry experience with both major and independent oil companies.  Mr. Marston is responsible for the company's overall exploration activity, acquisitions and divestitures and provides leadership in the implementation of the company's growth strategy.

Mr. Mike Dusterhoff is Senior Vice President Marketing and Downstream Development of Montana Refining Company, Inc., the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, ("Montana Refining").  Mr. Dusterhoff has over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and has spent the last 25 years with Montana Refining in various positions, including transportation, logistics, supply, marketing and downstream development.  Mr. Dusterhoff is currently responsible for the movement of diluent and dilbit in and out of Connacher's oil sands projects and all of the marketing for Montana Refining. 

Mr. Dana Leach is the Vice President, Refining Operations of Montana Refining and has been with Montana Refining for 37 years in increasing positions of seniority. His first nine years at the Refinery were with Phillips Petroleum Company where he worked in multiple operating positions; his last 28 years have been in various management roles at Montana Refining including Operations Supervisor, Operations Manager and Refinery Manager.  Mr. Leach is responsible for all the daily operations at the Refinery.

Mr. Hans Kramer is the company's Oil Sands Manager, a position he has held for more than five years.  Mr. Kramer has been involved with the oil industry for 26 years, and his operating experience is extensive and expands to all facets of heavy oil extraction.  Mr. Kramer is responsible for the company's day to day operations at the Pod One and Algar facilities at Great Divide.

As part of its review process, the Board of Directors will also be assessing its future executive and managerial requirements. During this interim period, Colin M. Evans and Kelly J. Ogle will continue as co-Managing Directors of the company.

About Connacher

Connacher is a Calgary-based energy company with an integrated strategy. Its primary asset is its 100 percent ownership of bitumen reserves and production from two steam-assisted gravity drainage ("SAGD") projects, Pod One and Algar, at its Great Divide oil sands lease block in northeastern Alberta. Connacher also owns and operates a profitable 9,500 bbl/d heavy crude oil refinery in Great Falls, Montana. Conventional lands, reserves and production are also owned in central Alberta.

Forward Looking Information

This press release contains forward‐looking information including but not limited to, anticipated future operating and financial results, liquidity and capital resources, the planned review of the company's business plan and the identification, examination and consideration of strategies available to the company, including an assessment of future executive and managerial requirements.

Forward‐looking information is based on management's expectations regarding future growth, results of operations, production, future commodity prices, heavy oil differentials and foreign exchange rates, future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof), plans for and results of drilling activity, environmental matters, business prospects and opportunities and future economic conditions. Forward‐looking information involves significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These risks include, but are not limited to operational risks in development, exploration, production and start‐up activities; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of reserve and resource estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections relating to production, costs and expenses, and health, safety and environmental risks; the risk of commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; risks associated with the impact of general economic conditions; sales volumes and risks and uncertainties associated with securing and maintaining the necessary regulatory approvals and financing to proceed with the continued expansion of the Great Divide oil sands project.

Although Connacher believes that the expectations in such forward‐looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations shall prove to be correct. The forward‐looking information included in this press release is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward‐looking information included in this press release is made as of January 19, 2012 and Connacher assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward‐looking information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

SOURCE Connacher Oil and Gas Limited

For further information:

Colin M. Evans or Kelly J. Ogle
Phone: 403 538-6201

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