15 February 2011

Gran Tierra Energy Announces South America Operations Update

More Oil at Moqueta-4, Exploration Drilling Activity Ramps Up, Dry Hole at Taruka-1

CALGARY, Alberta, February 15, 2010, Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (“Gran Tierra Energy”) (NYSE Amex: GTE; TSX: GTE), a company focused on oil and gas exploration and production in South America, today announced an operations update for Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.


Moqueta Field, Chaza Block (100% working interest and Operator)

Initial drilling and logging results have been obtained from the Moqueta-4 delineation well located approximately 1.5 kilometers to the west of the Moqueta-1 discovery well in the Chaza Block of the Putumayo Basin. Oil shows were recorded throughout the Villeta U Sandstone, the Villeta T Sandstone and the Caballos formations, with electric logs and RFT pressure data indicating total potential net oil pay in Moqueta-4 of approximately 125 feet, compared to 118 feet in the Moqueta-3 and 44 feet in the Moqueta-2 delineation wells. As a result of these initial indications of increased oil pay, a test program is being conducted to confirm the fluid content and productivity of the encountered reservoirs. This test program, which commenced on January 27, 2011, is expected to be completed in early March of 2011.

To date, no oil-water contact has been identified from the available data, nor has there been any indication that gas is present in any of the reservoirs at Moqueta-4. Subject to successful testing and subsequent delineation drilling, there remains potential for additional oil down-dip. Additional delineation drilling is being planned for 2011 to further evaluate the extent of this oil discovery. In addition, a 115 square kilometer 3D seismic survey is being permitted and will be acquired over areas not currently covered by 3D to help determine the areal extent of the field.

Final design of the Moqueta to Costayaco 6 inch, 8 kilometer pipeline is currently underway with environment permitting completed. Gran Tierra Energy anticipates construction will start mid-February, 2011 with an anticipated completion date and start of long-term testing of the Moqueta field in May 2011.

Costayaco Field, Chaza Block (100% working interest and Operator)

Drilling operations have concluded on the Costayaco-12 and -13 development wells, which were drilled as infill production wells to test the respective northern and southern extensions of the Costayaco field. Completion and testing has commenced at Costayaco-12.Production from the Costayaco-12 and -13 wells is intended to assist in maintaining production plateau at the Costayaco field; these will be converted to water-injectors to assist with pressure maintenance in the field later in the Costayaco field life. 

Pacayaco Prospect, Chaza Block (100% working interest and Operator)

A new well, or a sidetrack of the existing well in the Pacayaco prospect, is expected to spud late in the second quarter of 2011. Newly acquired 3D seismic data suggests that a new drilling location may be required to direct the well to the intended down-hole location that was targeted on 2D seismic by the recently drilled Pacayaco-1 exploration well. 

Canangucho Prospect, Chaza Block (100% working interest and Operator)

The exploration well Canangucho-1, located east of the Costayaco Field, began drilling on February 10, 2011. Canangucho-1 is targeting the same reservoirs present in the Costayaco and Moqueta oil fields. Drilling is expected to take approximately one month.  

Juanambu Field, Guayuyaco Block (70% Working Interest and Operator)

Civil construction work for the Juanambu-3 development well in the Guayuyaco Block in the Putumayo basin is ongoing and approximately 90% complete. Juanambu-3 is anticipated to begin drilling in early March and take approximately one month to drill.

Taruka Prospect, Piedemonte Sur Block (100% working interest and Operator)

The Taruka-1 exploration well reached total depth on February 7, 2011. The target reservoirs were encountered, but with only poor oil shows. The well was plugged and abandoned.

Colombia Operations Update

The Ecopetrol-operated Trans-Andean oil pipeline, through which Gran Tierra Energy sales oil is transported from the Putumayo Basin, has been working at reduced capacity due to maintenance at the Tumaco Port crude offloading terminal in the Pacific Coast city of Tumaco. The port was offline from approximately December 28 to February 7, 2011. During this period, Gran Tierra Energy continued production at reduced volumes of approximately 60% of capacity in the Putumayo Basin, with a portion of oil volumes being exported by pipeline through Ecuador as well as by truck within Colombia. On February 8, 2011, transportation through the same Trans-Andean pipeline was halted as a disruption occurred in the line. The pipeline was restored on February 14, 2011. Gran Tierra Energy’s sales for the month of January averaged approximately 12,200 barrels of oil per day, net after royalty, before the recent disruption of the Trans-Andean oil pipeline.


On February 8, 2011 drilling operations commenced on the Kanatari-1 exploration well on Block 128. Drilling is expected to conclude in late February, with results expected in March. The drilling rig is expected to mobilize to drill a second exploration well this year in the adjacent Block 122. 

In addition, an application for regulatory approval of the acquisition of a 60% interest in Block 95 has been submitted to PeruPetro S.A. for approval. Gran Tierra Energy has budgeted one exploration well on the block in the fourth quarter of 2011. The contract area contains the previously drilled Breta a-1 well, which was drilled in 1974 and tested 18 API gravity oil on natural flow rates of approximately 800 barrels of oil per day. 


In the Valle Morado gas field, sidetrack drilling operations on the VM.x-1001 delineation well will be suspended due to a number of operational challenges that have been encountered.  Gran Tierra Energy continues to review alternatives associated with the field development. 


An application for approval of the acquisition of a 70% interest in Blocks REC-T-129, -142, -155 and -224 in the on-shore Rec ncavo Basin, Brazil has been submitted for regulatory approval from Brazil’s Ag ncia Nacional de Petr leo G s Natural e Biocombust veis (“ANP“).  The ANP is presently reviewing Gran Tierra Energy’s request to be recognized as an operator in Brazil.   The budgeted 2011 drilling program on Blocks REC-T-129, 142 and 155 consists of four exploration and two development wells.

About Gran Tierra Energy Inc.

Gran Tierra Energy Inc. is an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in Calgary, Canada, incorporated in the United States, trading on the NYSE Amex Exchange (GTE) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (GTE), and operating in South America. Gran Tierra Energy holds interests in producing and prospective properties in Argentina, Colombia, Peru and, subject to regulatory approval, Brazil. Gran Tierra Energy has a strategy that focuses on establishing a portfolio of producing properties, plus production enhancement and exploration opportunities to provide a base for future growth.

Gran Tierra Energy’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings are available on a web site maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov and on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com.

Forward Looking Statements:

This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) under the meaning of applicable securities laws, including Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Instrument 51-102 – Continuous Disclosure Obligations and the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The use of the words “expect”, “anticipate”, “potential”, “will”, “may”, “being”, “suggests” and “planned” identify these forward-looking statements. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this news release contains forward-looking statements regarding planned and expected testing, timing and results regarding Moqueta-4, potential for additional oil down-dip, planned additional wells, anticipated timing and information from Gran Tierra Energy’s seismic acquisition program, timing of submission of regulatory and environmental applications and receipt and timing of environmental permits and other regulatory approvals, planned construction of the pipeline from Moqueta to the Costayaco facilities, anticipated improvement in the recovery factor of oil reserves in the Costayaco field, expected drilling and spudding of the exploration and development wells, anticipated downtime of the Trans-Andean pipeline and expected effect on production, and expected seismic operations and spud date in Peru.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release reflect several material factors and expectations and assumptions of Gran Tierra Energy including, without limitation, assumptions relating to log evaluations, that Gran Tierra Energy will continue to conduct its operations in a manner consistent with past operations, the effects of drilling down-dip and the general continuance of current or, where applicable, assumed operational and industry conditions. Gran Tierra Energy believes the material factors, expectations and assumptions reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable at this time but no assurance can be given that these factors, expectations and assumptions will prove to be correct.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements, including, among others: Gran Tierra Energy’s operations are located in South America, and unexpected problems can arise due to guerilla activity, technical difficulties and operational difficulties which impact or delay its testing and drilling operations; geographic, political, weather and other industry conditions can impede and/or delay testing and drilling operations and can impede and/or delay construction of pipeline and other facilities; resumption of service at the Trans-Andean oil pipeline may not occur on the timelines or in the manner expected, or at all; regulatory and environmental permits may not be received on the terms or timelines anticipated, or at all; and the risk that current global economic and credit market conditions may impact oil prices and oil consumption more than Gran Tierra Energy currently predicts, which could cause Gran Tierra Energy to modify its exploration activities. Further information on potential factors that could affect Gran Tierra Energy are included in risks detailed from time to time in Gran Tierra Energy’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including, without limitation, under the caption “Risk Factors” in Gran Tierra Energy’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed November 5, 2010. These filings are available on a Web site maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.  The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and Gran Tierra Energy disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable securities legislation.

Additional information is available on Gran Tierra Energy’s website at www.grantierra.com

Contact Information

For investor and media inquiries please contact:

Jason Crumley

Director, Investor Relations