BUCHAREST, Romania and CALGARY, Canada, February 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Resources Ltd. (Sterling or the Company) (TSX-V: SLG) issues the following statements of facts: Following the resolution of the Maritime Boundary Dispute between Romania and the Ukraine by the International Court of Justice (the ICJ) on February 3, 2009, there have been media reports in Romania questioning the validity and extent of certain concessions granted to Sterling by the Romanian Government. While it is Sterling's policy not to comment on market rumours or speculation, in light of the seriousness of the questions raised and the allegations made, Sterling is issuing the following statement of facts in relation to the company, the concession agreement and its track record of operations and investment in Romania since 1997.

The petroleum agreement for blocks XIII Pelican and XV Midia was executed on August 6, 1992, pursuant to the Law no. 64/1992 concerning the grant of facilities in order to attract foreign capital in the sector of exploration and production of crude oil and gas reserves, and was approved by Government Decision no. 570 of 1992. The petroleum agreement was awarded based on an international tender and is a contract at the titleholder's sole risk and cost. Sterling became a party to the petroleum agreement effective April 1, 1997 and is currently recognized as the titleholder under the petroleum agreement.

Due to the dispute between Romania and Ukraine concerning the delineation of the Black Sea continental shelf, on December 15, 2003 the initial exploration period was suspended until resolution of the dispute by the ICJ. It was agreed that Sterling could resume petroleum operations solely in certain portions of the contract area and maintain the suspension for other portions of the respective blocks.

In 2007 and 2008 the suspension was removed for a total area of 254 km(2), located on the Midia block, outside the area disputed between Romania and Ukraine. In this area, Sterling as title holder of the petroleum agreement, drilled three (3) exploration wells, which confirmed the existence of certain natural gas resources. Currently, the commerciality of these discoveries has not been declared to the National Agency for Mineral Resources (NAMR), as provided in the Petroleum Law no. 238 of 2004 and the petroleum agreement.

In the event the resources are commercial, it is estimated that the development would require further investment anticipated to exceed US$ 400 million, to be made at the sole expense and risk of Sterling and its partners, with production to start sometime in 2011 or 2012.

The petroleum agreement has been amended numerous times over the past 17 years. The last such amendment, The Eleventh Amendment, was approved by Government Decision no. 1443/12.11.2008, and was executed between the NAMR and Sterling on August 24, 2007 when no forecast could be made of the date of issuance of the decision of the ICJ or the content of such decision. The Eleventh Amendment was meant to bring the provisions of the petroleum agreement, which was signed back in 1992, in line with the current legal provisions, mainly those related to the petroleum, fiscal and environmental matters, which would have allowed Sterling to move on to the development and production of Doina and Ana structures discovered in the Midia block, located outside the disputed area. The Eleventh Amendment took over 20 months to be approved and followed the approving process by the line ministries, as provided by the existing regulations, until final approval by the Government on November 12, 2008.

The remaining area of the Pelican and Midia blocks (in total about 3,865 km(2)) continues to be under suspension. In light of the recent decision by the ICJ resolving the long standing border dispute between Romania and the Ukraine, the removal from suspension will be discussed with the NAMR. Sterling has not been awarded any new acreage as a result of the ICJ decision. In aggregate, commencing from the date of approval of the petroleum agreement, ten (10) exploration wells have been drilled and seismic works of over 11,000 km carried out, for a total investment of approximately US$ 130 million.

Sterling is a Canadian company having its head office in Calgary, Alberta. Sterling is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, its shares being traded under the symbol SLG. Sterling is conducting petroleum operations in United Kingdom (both in the North Sea and onshore), in France and in Romania both onshore (South Craiova block) and in the Black Sea (Pelican XIII and Midia XV blocks). Sterling has been holding an interest in the Pelican and Midia blocks since April 1, 1997, which interest currently stands at 100%. This interest will be reduced to 32.5% subject to completion of certain agreements with third parties to acquire an interest in the blocks.

Midia Resources S.R.L. (Midia) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sterling and acts as operator and Sterling's fiscal representative in Romania, being responsible for the management of the conduct of petroleum operations, which are carried out by specialized contractors. Midia maintains an active office in Bucharest from which it runs the Romanian operations. Midia is not a titleholder under the petroleum agreement, and it receives the necessary funds from its parent company to conduct the petroleum operations on behalf of Sterling.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Filer Profile No. 00002072

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that Sterling expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements as to expected future development investments in the Midia and Pelican blocks and anticipated commencement of production therefrom. In addition, statements relating to reserves or resources are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions that the reserves and resources described can be profitably produced in the future.

These forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions made by Sterling based on its experience, perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. In addition, these statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other-forward looking statements will prove inaccurate, certain of which are beyond Sterling's control, including: the impact of general economic conditions in the areas in which Sterling operates, civil unrest, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, fluctuations in commodity prices, foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. In addition there are risks and uncertainties associated with oil and gas operations. Readers should also carefully consider the matters discussed under the heading Risk Factors in the Company's Annual Information Form.

Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. Sterling's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of the press release. Sterling does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law. Financial outlook information contained in this press release about prospective results of operations, financial position or cash flows is based on assumptions about future events, including economic conditions and proposed courses of action, based on management's assessment of the relevant information currently available. Readers are cautioned that such financial outlook information contained in this press release should not be used for purpose other than for which it is disclosed herein.

For further information: visit http://www.sterling-resources.com or contact: Stewart G. Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, Phone: +44-133082-6717, Mobile: +44-7768-042219, stewart@sterling-resources.co.uk; Stephen Birrell, Vice President, Romanian Operations, Phone: +40-21-231-3256, Mobile: +40-729 199316, Stephen@sterling-resources.co.uk; George Kesteven, Manager, Corporate and Investor Relations, Phone: +1-403-215-9265, Fax: +1-403-215-9279, george@sterling-resources.com

For further information, contact: Stewart G. Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, Phone: +44-133082-6717, Mobile: +44-7768-042219, stewart@sterling-resources.co.uk; Stephen Birrell, Vice President, Romanian Operations, Phone: 40-21-231-3256, Mobile: 40-729 199316, Stephen@sterling-resources.co.uk; George Kesteven, Manager, Corporate and Investor Relations, Phone: +1-403-215-9265, Fax: +1-403-215-9279, george@sterling-resources.com