Vast Exploration Inc.
TSX VENTURE : VST

Vast Exploration Inc.

August 15, 2011 08:00 ET

Vast Sells 12% Interest in the Qara Dagh Block to Niko Resources and Retains 25% Interest. Funds to Be Used to Deepen the Current Well. Appoints Sig Slotboom as President and CEO

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2011) - Vast Exploration Inc.("Vast" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:VST) announces that it has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to sell 12% of the Company's interest in the Qara Dagh Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to Niko Resources (Kurdistan) Ltd. ("Niko") for consideration of US$9,000,000. The funds will be used by Vast to pay for outstanding amounts to Niko under a joint operating agreement as well as to fund future expenses related to the deepening of the Qara Dagh well to 4,150 meters. Vast plans to host a conference call at 11:00 AM (EST) on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 to discuss the sale of the Company's 12% interest in the Qara Dagh Block. To participate in the call please dial:

Conference Call Dial-In Information
Date: Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Time: 11:00 AM EST
International Callers: +1 416 340 8018
Toll Free: 1 866 223 7781
Local Callers: 416 340 8018

Mr. Ahmed Said, commented, "We are excited to have reached an agreement with our partners to deepen the current well by 250 meters. This is the first exploration well on the block, and it has thus far confirmed the presence of an active hydrocarbon system. The deepening program will target additional reservoir quality formations in the Cretacous, and we remain optimistic of the potential for a commercial discovery".

The deepening of the Qara Dagh well has recently been approved by the consortium partners, and the well is expected to be completed, including any potential testing of the lower zones, by early October 2011. All the production testing in the upper zones have been completed and there were no commercial rates achieved.

The purchase and sale agreement with Niko remains subject to the receipt of all required approvals from the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq and if necessary, the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

The Company is also pleased to announce that Mr. Sig Slotboom has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Vast. Mr. Slotboom will succeed Mr. Ahmed Said, who will continue to serve as an executive consultant to the Company and remain on the board of directors of Vast.

General Jay Garner, commented, "We would like to thank Mr. Said for his services during his term as President and CEO. We are very excited to welcome Mr. Slotboom as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Vast. The breadth and depth of Sig's international experience will be of tremendous value to Vast's objectives and its operations in Kurdistan."

Sig Slotboom is a Petroleum Engineer with over 30 years of diversified technical and management experience in the upstream oil and gas industry. Mr. Slotboom started his career at Exxon/Imperial where he had a wide range of technical and business development roles, including a foreign assignment in Norway to develop a major offshore gas-condensate field. He has valuable experience in Iraq gained in the mid 90's with Chauvco Resources where he played a major role in leading the evaluation and negotiation of several exploration and development/EOR projects. Recently, he has held the position of Vice President Operations with Vast. In connection with his appointment, Mr. Slotbloom has been granted 200,000 stock options to purchase the same number of common shares of the Company at a price of $0.16 per option exercised. The stock options, and any shares issued on exercise thereof, will be subject to a four month statutory hold period.

About Vast Exploration

Vast Exploration Inc. is an independent oil and gas company. Vast is focused on the exploration and development of its principal asset, the Qara Dagh Block, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The Qara Dagh Block lies on trend with existing discoveries and is located in the prolific Zagros Fold Belt of Northern Iraq, which contains several large fields including the super-giant Kirkuk field.

Regulatory Statements

This press release contains "forward looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the sale of the 12% interest to Niko, the prospective nature of the Qara Dagh Block, the drilling program and revised timeline for completion, exploration and development plans and projected expenses and timetable, and relationships with other companies who hold an interest in the Qara Dagh Block. Generally, forward looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. For a description of some of such risks, please see the Company's public disclosure filed under the profile of the Company on SEDAR. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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.

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