Gran Tierra Energy Announces Addition of Chief Operating Officer to Executive Team

    Breadth of Management Expanded with Addition of International E&P
Veteran, Shane O'Leary

    CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Gran Tierra Energy
Inc. (NYSE Alternext: GTE; TSX: GTE), a company focused on oil exploration and
production in South America, today announced that Shane P. O'Leary will be
joining the company as Chief Operating Officer effective March 2, 2009. Mr.
O'Leary, whose regional experience includes South America, North Africa, the
Middle East, the former Soviet Union, and North America, will be based out of
the Calgary corporate head office and report to Dana Coffield, the company's
President and Chief Executive Officer.

    Prior to joining Gran Tierra Energy, Mr. O'Leary was President and Chief
Executive Officer of First Calgary Petroleums Ltd., an oil and gas company
actively engaged in exploration and development activities in Algeria.  From
2002 to 2006, Mr. O'Leary worked for Encana Corporation where his positions
included Vice President of Development Planning and Engineering, as well as
Vice President Brazil Business Unit.  From 1985 to 2002 he worked for the
Amoco Production Company/BP Exploration where he occupied numerous senior
finance, planning, and business development positions with assignments in
Canada, U.S.A., Azerbaijan and Egypt, culminating in his role as Business
Development Manager for BP Alaska Gas.  Early in his career Mr. O'Leary worked
as a Corporate Banking Officer for Bank of Montreal's Petroleum group in
Calgary, a Reservoir Engineer for Dome Petroleum, and as a Senior Field
Engineer for Schlumberger Overseas, S.A. in Kuwait.

    Commenting on the addition to the executive team, Mr. Coffield stated,
"It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors makes today's
announcement. Shane brings over 30 years of international oil and gas
experience in operations, finance, planning, and business development to our
group.  The breadth and depth of his global experience is perfectly
complementary with the business strategy of the company and we expect that he
will play a significant role in supporting the continued growth of our

    Mr. O'Leary, 52, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical
engineering from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and his Masters in
Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario in London,
Ontario.  He is a member of the Canadian National Committee of the World
Petroleum Council and The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists,
and Geophysicists of Alberta (P. Eng).

    About Gran Tierra Energy Inc.

    Gran Tierra Energy is an international oil and gas exploration and
production company operating in South America, headquartered in Calgary,
Canada and incorporated in the United States. The company holds interests in
producing and prospective properties in Colombia, Argentina and Peru. The
company has a strategy that focuses on growing a portfolio of producing
properties, plus production enhancement and exploration opportunities to
provide a base for future growth. Gran Tierra Energy trades on the NYSE
Alternext under the symbol "GTE" and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the
symbol "GTE".

    Additional information concerning Gran Tierra Energy is available at , on SEDAR ( and with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (

    Forward Looking Statements

    The statements in this press release regarding Gran Tierra Energy's
expectations regarding continued growth are "forward-looking statements"
within the meaning of the U.S. federal and Canadian securities laws, including
Canadian Securities Administrators' National Instrument 51-102 Continuous
Disclosure Obligations and the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties
and other factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ
materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements.
Although, Gran Tierra Energy believes that the assumptions underlying, and
expectations reflected in, these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it
can give no assurance that these assumptions and expectations will prove to be

    Factors that could cause results to differ materially from those
described in the forward-looking statements include:  Gran Tierra Energy's
operations are located in South America, and unexpected problems can arise due
to additional strikes, guerilla activity, technical difficulties, operational
difficulties and weather conditions which impact operations, including the
exploration, production, transportation or sale of oil and gas; heightened
unrest in Colombia could imperil the safety and security of Gran Tierra
Energy's assets and personnel despite the safety measures Gran Tierra Energy
has put in place to address the current situation, which could also delay the
testing and drilling and could also impact production; and those other risks
found in the periodic reports filed by Gran Tierra Energy with the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the section entitled
"Risk Factors" in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission on November 6, 2008, and available at the Securities
and Exchange Commission's internet site and on SEDAR at

    All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly
qualified by information contained in each company's filings with regulatory
authorities and, subject to its obligations under applicable securities laws,
Gran Tierra Energy does not undertake to publicly update forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or



    Dana Coffield
    Gran Tierra Energy Inc.
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    (800) 916-4873

    Al Palombo
    Cameron Associates
    Investor Relations
    (212) 554-5488


For further information:

For further information: Dana Coffield, President & Chief Executive
Officer, Gran Tierra Energy Inc., 1-800-916-4873,; or
Investor Relations, Al Palombo of Cameron Associates, +1-212-554-5488, Web Site:

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