Sterling Resources announces 2009 operating and financial results and NI
51-101 reserves disclosure

CALGARY, April 20 /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, is pleased to announce operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2009. Unless otherwise noted all figures contained in this release are denominated in Canadian dollars.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $66,384,535 ($0.51 per common share basic, $0.50 per share diluted) compared to a loss of $2,313,736 ($0.02 per share basic and diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2008. The increase in net income relates primarily to the gain on the disposition of a 15 percent working interest in the Breagh field and varying interests in the surrounding blocks in the United Kingdom North Sea (UKNS).

Capital expenditures during 2009 totalled $21.1 million compared to $87.0 million during 2008. Major capital expenditures items during 2009 included $11.8 million related to the completion of testing of the Breagh 42/13-5z horizontal well, $5.8 million related to the acquisition and interpretation of high resolution seismic over the Doina trend and the Ioana prospect, and $1.0 million related to engineering studies and a pipeline survey for the proposed route for taking Breagh gas to shore. In addition to these major items, capital was also deployed to complete additional seismic programs on other licenses in the greater Breagh area, as well as to maintain existing licenses in the UKNS.

Net working capital as at December 31, 2009 was $72.7 million compared to $14.0 million as at December 31, 2008. This increase in net working capital year over year is primarily attributable to the proceeds received from the sale of a partial interest in the Breagh assets.

"Against the backdrop of a great deal of market uncertainty during 2009, Sterling persevered with the major focus upon the capture and realization of value through the sale of a one third interest in Breagh," stated Stewart Gibson, Sterling's Chief Executive Officer. "With the financial flexibility afforded by the cash proceeds from Breagh and a high quality inventory of drilling prospects, the Company is well positioned to move forward with its exploration and development activities," added Mr. Gibson.

Company interest Proved plus Probable Reserves were 32.5 MMboe as at December 31, 2009. The Breagh Field (100 percent) Proved plus Probable Reserves increased by 18 percent to 609 Bcf of natural gas, with Company Share Proved plus Probable Reserves offset by a 15 percent working interest sale (33-1/3 percent of equity) to RWE Dea UK SNS Limited resulting in an overall decrease of 20.5 percent.

Best Estimate Contingent Resources for the Company were 39.1 MMboe as at December 31, 2009. The Ana and Doina Field (100 percent) Best Estimate Contingent Resources have increased by 29 percent to 345 Bcf of natural gas, with Company interest offset by the farm-out of a 32.5 percent working interest the Ana and Doina Field (50 percent of equity) to Melrose Resources Plc, resulting in an overall decrease of 36.1 percent.

"Although we see decreases in the Company share of Proved plus Probable Reserves and Best Estimate Contingent Resources, the sale of a partial working interest in Breagh and the offshore Romanian farm-down provide a strong financial position for going forward with the development of the Breagh and the Doina and Ana Field. First production is expected from both developments in 2012," stated John Rapach, Sterling's Vice President, Operations.

Prospective Resource volumes for the Company's exploration prospect portfolio were also evaluated by RPS Energy at December 31, 2009 for the first time. The Best Estimate Company interest of unrisked Prospective Resources is 916 Bcf of natural gas and 129 MMbbls of oil. "The Prospective Resource volumes demonstrate the strength of Sterling's exploration portfolio," stated Stewart Gibson. "We look forward to an exciting exploration program in the near-term with our drilling of the Cladhan, Grian, Airidh and Macanta wells, and in the longer term with further additions to this resource base with Offshore Netherlands and the unconventional oil play in the Paris Basin, onshore France," added Mr. Gibson.

In accordance with the provisions of National Instrument 51-101, additional reserves and resources disclosure is contained in this release and can also be found on the SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) website at and on Sterling's website at

Key operational milestones achieved during 2009 included the following:

    -   During January, the Company announced the successful drilling of the
        West Breagh horizontal well in the Southern North Sea. Subsequent
        testing of the well during January indicated a flow rate of
        26 million cubic feet per day.

    -   During March, Sterling entered into a fully termed farm-in agreement
        with Melrose Resources Plc (Melrose) under which Melrose would incur
        up to US $90 million of development costs on behalf of Sterling in
        return for a 32.5 percent interest in the Midia and Pelican Blocks
        offshore Romania. Closing of this arrangement requires regulatory
        approval from Romanian authorities. However, this approval has been
        delayed due to unfounded and inaccurate allegations in the Romanian
        press which preceded a period of political instability in the
        country, and which ultimately resulted in the fall of the government.
        We are cautiously optimistic that the new government in Romania will
        recognize the importance of this project to their country's domestic
        gas supply and government approval of assignments to partners will be

    -   In August, Sterling completed the sale of one third of its 45 percent
        interest in Block 42/13 and varying interests in the surrounding
        blocks comprising the greater Breagh area for total gross proceeds of
        approximately $103 million less costs of disposition of $0.8 million
        and the repurchase of a pro-rata share of the underlying encumbrances
        of $11.9 million. Following the disposition, the Company retained a
        30 percent interest in the entire greater Breagh area. The sale also
        resulted in the purchaser, RWE Dea UK SNS Limited, becoming operator.

    During 2009 the following key corporate activities were completed:

    -   During April, the Company completed a bridge financing for gross
        proceeds of US $11.2 million. The facility is composed of 112 units,
        each consisting of one US $100,000 par value one-year 15 percent
        senior secured note and one common share purchase warrant entitling
        the holder to acquire 20,000 common shares of the Company at $0.84
        per share. The notes were repayable in three equal instalments six,
        nine and twelve months from closing. The third and final interest
        instalment and principal repayment was made to holders of the notes
        on April 20, 2010.

    Subsequent Events:

    -   During late December 2009 the first of three onshore wells in the
        Craiova region of Romania was spudded. All three wells have been
        drilled and casing was run to allow testing of multiple intervals
        where gas shows were encountered. Despite significant gas shows for
        both NG-04 and NG-02 while drilling, these wells did not flow gas on
        test. Final interpretation of the results from testing of the wells
        has yet to be finalised.

    -   In February of 2010 the Company confirmed its 2010 drilling program.
        In addition to the three onshore wells in the Craiova region of
        Romania, Sterling intends to spud a well in the Cladhan field of the
        UK Northern North Sea in May, as well as drill the Airidh and Macanta
        prospects which are located adjacent to Breagh. Wells are also
        planned for later in the year at Grian (Quad 48 of the UKNS) and the
        Eugenia South prospect in the Romanian Black Sea, subject to
        government approval.

    -   During March of 2010, the Company announced that Stewart Gibson would
        be retiring from the CEO role; however, he will remain a member of
        the Board of Directors and be acting in an advisory role to the CEO
        designate Mike Azancot. Mr. Azancot will join Sterling on April 26th
        and will assume his duties as President and CEO, subject to the
        approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, following the Sterling Annual
        General Meeting, which will be held in the Strand/Tivoli Room of the
        Metropolitan Centre at 333 - 4th Avenue S.W. in Calgary at 10:00 AM
        on May 27th.

    Year-end 2009 Reserves and Resources Summary

                                                         Net Present Value
                     Working      Reserves Company    Before Tax(4) (Millions
                    Interest      Share (MMboe)(1)      of Canadian dollars)
                                              Proved +               Proved +
                                     Proved  Probable        Proved  Probable
                                    + Prob-  + Poss-        + Prob-  + Poss-
                             Proved   able     ible  Proved   able     ible
    UK  Breagh(2)      30.0%  23.4    31.2     38.2   285.8  378.0    471.3
    UK  Kirkleatham(2) 47.0%   0.1     0.2      0.5     0.1    3.8     11.4
    UK  Sheryl(3)      35.0%     -     1.1      1.6       -   37.9     55.5
    Company Total UK(5)       23.5    32.5     40.3   285.9  419.7    538.2

              Unrisked Contingent Resources   Unrisked Prospective Resources
                    Company Share(6)(8)             Company Share(7)(8)
                  1C         2C        3C        Low   Best Estimate   High
               P(90)(9)   P(50)(9)   P(10)(9)  P(90)(9)   P(50)(9)   P(10)(9)
    Gas  Bcf     148.0      188.0     243.0     644.0      916.0      1,565.0
    Oil  MMbbls    3.3        7.8      20.0      57.0      129.0        404.0

    (1)  Gross before royalties.
    (2)  Gas converted to barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) at
         6 Mcf = 1Boe.
    (3)  Oil.
    (4)  Discounted at 10 percent per annum.
    (5)  Company Reserve totals are arithmetic aggregations of multiple
         estimates, which statistical principles indicate may be misleading
         as to volumes that may actually be recovered. Readers should give
         particular attention to the estimates of individual classes of
         reserves and appreciate the differing probabilities of recovery
         associated with each class. For Proved (1P) Reserves these totals
         have a much higher than 90 percent probability of occurring on an
         unrisked basis. For Proved plus Probable plus Possible (3P)
         Reserves, these totals have a much lower than 10 percent probability
         of occurring on an unrisked basis.
    (6)  Contingent Resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated as
         of a given date to be potentially recoverable from known
         accumulations using established technology or technology under
         development, but which are not currently considered to be
         commercially recoverable due to one or more contingencies. The
         Resource volumes shown represent probabilistic totals of several
         entities within each license or block area. There is no certainty
         that it will commercially viable to produce any portion of the
         Contingent Resources.
    (7)  Prospective Resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated as
         of a given date to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered
         accumulations by application of future development projects. There
         is no certainty that any portion of the Prospective Resources will
         be discovered or, if discovered, that it will be commercially viable
         to produce any portion of the Resources. These Prospective Resources
         are in areas of the field or geological horizons, in which the
         presence of hydrocarbons require confirmation by drilling.
    (8)  Company Resource totals shown by Resource category are statistical
         aggregates of unrisked Resources at a company level. For Contingent
         Resources the statistical aggregates assume no dependencies between
         discoveries and for Prospective Resources these statistical totals
         assume no dependencies between prospects.
    (9)  The P(50) or 2C is considered to be the best estimate of the
         quantity that will actually be recovered. If probabilistic methods
         are used there should be at least a 50 percent probability P(50)
         that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the
         estimate. Similarly, the 1C or P(90) and 3C or P(10) represent the
         low and high estimates respectively.
    (10) The estimates of Reserves and Resources for individual properties
         may not reflect the same confidence level as estimates of Reserves
         and Resources for all properties, due to the effects of aggregation.

The Company's hydrocarbon resources were independently evaluated by RPS Energy in accordance with the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook ("COGEH") reserves definitions and evaluation practices and procedures, as specified by National Instrument 51-101. ("NI 51-101"). The definitions for each of the categories, including the conditions around Contingent Resources can be found on page 12 of Sterling's 2009 Annual Report. There is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the reserves.

The evaluation uses the RPS Energy forecast prices and costs as at December 31, 2009. Complete details regarding Sterling's Resources for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in a format specified by NI 51-101 can be found in Sterling's forthcoming Annual Information Form which will be filed on SEDAR at or on the Company's website Audited consolidated financial statements and associated notes, and the Management Discussion and Analysis can also be found on SEDAR and at Sterling's website.

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.

%SEDAR: 00002072E

SOURCE Sterling Resources Ltd.

For further information: For further information: visit or contact: Stewart G. Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, Phone: 44-133082-6717, Mobile: 44-7768-042219,; Ian Hornby-Smith, Chief Financial Officer, Phone: (403) 215-9264, Fax (403) 215-9279,; George Kesteven, Manager, Corporate and Investor Relations, Phone: (403) 215-9265, Fax: (403) 215-9279,

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