March 31, 2010 09:53 ET

Benchmark Energy Corp.: Recio 1 Exploration Well Cased as Potential Oil Discovery in Colombia

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) -


Benchmark Energy Corp. (TSX VENTURE:BEE) ("Benchmark" or the "Company") is pleased to report that Canacol Energy ("Canacol"), as operator, has cased the Recio 1 exploration well in Colombia as a potential oil discovery. The Recio 1 well is located on the Sierra Exploration and Production Contract ("Sierra E&P Contract") in the Middle Magdalena Basin of Colombia. The Sierra E&P Contract was awarded in 2007 by the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos; Benchmark holds a 25.5% non-operated working interest in the contract.

The Recio 1 well targeted the Lower Tertiary Honda Formation, which is a prolific oil producer within the Middle Magdalena Basin of Colombia. The Recio 1 exploration well was spud on March 15, 2010 and reached total depth of 1,812 measured feet on March 22, 2010. The well encountered approximately 10 feet of potential oil pay within a sandstone of the Middle Honda Formation at 1,548 to 1,558 feet measured depth, with good oil and gas shows while drilling. The well also encountered approximately 27 feet of potential oil pay within a sandstone of the Lower Honda Formation at 1,608 to 1,635 feet measured depth. Benchmark and its partners in the Sierra E&P Contract plan to test both zones, and will report the results when available.

Partners in the Sierra E&P Contract include Benchmark (25.5%), Canacol (25.5%), TC Oil and Services (24.5%), and Winchester Oil and Gas S.A. (24.5%).

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information set forth in this press release, including management's assessment of future plans and operations, contains forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond management's control, including the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of reserve or resource estimates, environmental risks, competition from other industry participants, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, stock market volatility and the ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits will derive from them. Benchmark disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information