Trans-Orient Provides Operational Update, Announces Executive Changes

    VANCOUVER, March 17 /CNW/ - Oil and gas exploration company Trans-Orient
Petroleum Ltd. (OTCBB/TOPLF) is pleased to announce that it has recently
completed the collection of 55 kilometers of 2-D seismic covering selected
portions of PEP 38348 and 38349 in the East Coast Basin of New Zealand, within
budget and of good field quality. The contract for processing of this seismic
is awarded, and final processed data is expected within six weeks. The data
will then be incorporated into the data base and interpreted by Trans-Orient's
technical team, to help delineate the Company's future drilling locations in
the East Coast Basin.
    In other news, the Company has made a number of changes to its executive
team that enhance the ability of the Company to move forward with its growth
plans. Mr. Peter Loretto, who will remain a Director of the Company, has
resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the Company to be replaced by
Mr. Garth Johnson, the Company's President, who has also accepted a role as a
Director of the Company.
    Mr. Barry MacNeil has resigned as the Company's Chief Financial Officer,
Corporate Secretary and as a Director for personal reasons. Mr. Doug Lynes, a
Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of experience in public and private
business, has accepted the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Corporate
Secretary for the Company. Mr. Drew Cadenhead has been appointed as the
Company's Chief Operating Officer, based in North America. Previously
Mr. Cadenhead was the Company's Vice-President of Business Development.
    As part of these executive changes, the Board of Directors has amended
its previously approved stock options and has adopted a formal stock option
plan ("the Plan"), strengthening the Company's ability to provide incentives
to key personnel responsible for developing and implementing the Company's
plan for growth.
    The Board of Directors has granted options to purchase up to 1,475,000
shares of the Company to its executive team and employees, exercisable for
five years at a price of US$0.50 per share and subject to vesting provisions.
If specific performance criteria are met, then an additional 1,475,000 stock
options can be earned.
    Trans-Orient currently has 36,545,225 shares outstanding, 52,819,867
fully diluted. For full details on Trans-Orient's capital structure please
click here:

For further information:

For further information: Dan Brown, (604) 682-6496,,

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