Sterling Hits Multiple Pay Zones at Thunder Stud

Sterling Energy plc said that petrophysical analysis indicates that multiple pay horizons have been encountered in the Brown~1 well ("Thunder Stud") in South Louisiana, for which it is operator (15.0 % WI, 10.8% NRI).

Sterling also announces an increase in its US bank facilities and that an updated Group presentation in advance of a planned series of institutional presentations.

The Brown~1 reached its target depth of c17,900 feet, was logged and a 5-1/2" production liner has been set. A series of production tests on these zones are planned for later in the year when equipment is available. All new information, including from the testing, will need to be evaluated and incorporated into Sterling's geological interpretation, following which the commercial potential of the well and of the whole project will become clearer.

Sterling's US bank facilities have also been increased by $6.8 million to a total of $61.5 million. This is principally as a result of the successful onshore drilling by the former Whittier company since the start of the year. These facilities are secured against the Whittier assets, which were acquired in late March 2007. Currently, Sterling has Group cash balances of c$37 million and undrawn bank facilities of c$19 million.

Harry Wilson, CEO of Sterling, said:

"We are very pleased with the initial results of the Whittier deal and the drilling in the US so far this year. Our strengthened team there has the ability to deliver consistent production and reserve increases through drilling and acquisition. Our growing cash flow should help to unlock and expand the upside potential in our international portfolio."