Guy Turcotte Receives Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Energy Producers


    CALGARY, Oct. 12 /CNW/ - Western Oil Sands Inc. (TSX: WTO) ("Western") is
pleased to announce that Mr. Guy Turcotte, Chairman of the Board and founder
of Western, is the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Award for Energy Producers. Mr. Turcotte received the prestigious award at a
gala awards presentation last evening in Calgary, Alberta.
    Commencing in 1994, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
have honoured over 2,900 finalists and awarded recipients for relentless
pursuit of success epitomizing the entrepreneurial spirit and providing
communities with a solid foundation for future economic growth.
    Mr. Turcotte's contribution to Western commenced in 1999, when he was
asked to join a group of mining professionals to form the Company. Since then,
Western expanded significantly and the Athabasca Oil Sands Project is now
recognized as a world-class asset. "I've had the opportunity to work with very
good people, partners, professional financiers and bankers," said Mr. Turcotte
when asked about the highlight of his entrepreneurial career. "I've been able
to work at a level that has been unbelievably interesting."

    About Western Oil Sands

    Western Oil Sands Inc. is a Canadian corporation listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol WTO. Our vision is to create shareholder value
through the opportunity capture and development of large, world-class
hydrocarbon resources. Our primary asset is our 20 per cent undivided interest
in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project. WesternZagros Resources Ltd., a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Western, is pursuing conventional oil and gas
exploration opportunities in the Federal Region of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq.
For additional information, visit

    This news release may contain forward-looking information based on
assumptions that are subject to a wide range of business risks, including
consummation of the Plan of Arrangement and listing of WesternZagros being
dependent on the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the approval of
Western's shareholders and the approval of governmental authorities.
WesternZagros' operations are subject to all risks normally incident to oil
and gas exploration and production activities. All of WesternZagros' assets
are located in Kurdistan. As such, WesternZagros is subject to political,
economic, and other uncertainties of that region as well as risks of loss due
to civil strife, acts of war, guerrilla activities and insurrections.
WesternZagros' operations may be adversely affected by changes in government
policies and legislation or social instability and other factors which are not
within its control. Risks also include the uncertainty involved in the
estimation of prospective resources. There is no certainty that any portion of
the internal prospective resource estimates contained herein will be
    Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such
as "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "potential", "could", or similar words
suggesting future outcomes. We caution readers and prospective investors of
the Company's securities not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
information as by its nature, it is based on current expectations regarding
future events that involve a number of assumptions, inherent risks and
uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from
those anticipated by Western.

For further information:

For further information: Dorreen Miller, Manager, Investor Relations &
Communications, (403) 233-1757

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