PETRONAS and Progress Welcome Favourable Investment Canada Ruling

Dec 9, 2012

Canadian natural gas development and LNG export investment plans moving forward

CALGARY, Dec. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - PETRONAS and Progress Energy Resources Corp. (Progress) welcome the Canadian Minister of Industry's decision to approve the acquisition of Progress by PETRONAS Carigali Canada Ltd. (PETRONAS Canada), which will help develop Canadian natural gas for the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market.

"This approval by the Canadian government marks a vital step in our plans to develop a LNG export business and opens promising new business opportunities for Progress, British Columbia and Canadian trade expansion," said Michael Culbert, President and CEO, Progress.

"Canada has great potential in the global LNG market - a growing market that's already worth more than $300 billion per year. While international LNG trade is intensely competitive, new facilities such as our Pacific Northwest LNG project are vital to building Canada's market position," Culbert said.

PETRONAS Canada and Progress have now received all necessary regulatory approvals and the acquisition is scheduled to be completed on December 12, 2012. The acquisition will enable PETRONAS to secure long-term strategic gas resources and leverage on Progress' extensive experience in unconventional resource development to further grow its unconventional business. At the same time, PETRONAS will be bringing LNG experience and expertise in developing LNG infrastructure in Western Canada, thus further cementing its position as a major long term global LNG player.

PETRONAS' well-established and extensive network of LNG customers will add value to Canada's natural gas resources and provide a strategic alternative to the traditional North American natural gas market. This will also generate substantial economic benefits to the local communities in terms of employment, increasing skill levels and other economic multiplier benefits.

"Our growth plans include three major Canadian investment components: Pacific Northwest LNG, which is the construction of a LNG export facility on Lelu Island in the District of Port Edward, near Prince Rupert; the continued upstream development of natural gas production in the Montney region of northeast British Columbia and northwest Alberta; and the eventual installation of a natural gas transmission pipeline, built by a third-party pipeline company, to move natural gas from the production fields to the LNG export facility. These components will create thousands of well-paid jobs during construction of the facility and pipeline, as well as permanent, ongoing operating jobs throughout our LNG business, from the Montney region to the West Coast," said Tan Sri Dato' Shamsul Azhar Abbas, President and CEO of PETRONAS.

The partners recently announced that the Pacific Northwest LNG project is moving into the pre front-end engineering design (Pre-FEED) phase. The Pre-FEED phase will be undertaken to provide certainty around project scope and a further understanding of construction timelines, costs and labour force requirements. The estimated investment in the LNG export facility is expected to be between $9 billion and $11 billion, depending on the final project scope. The construction phase would result in up to 3,500 direct jobs and the long-term operations of the facility would result in 200 to 300 direct jobs. Overall, Pacific Northwest LNG plus the upstream and midstream investments represent significant revenue and royalties to the provincial and federal governments, and the opportunity for significant economic benefits to the local First Nations and communities. A final investment decision for the project continues to be expected in late 2014, followed by the first LNG exports in 2018.

Pacific Northwest LNG will be opening an office in Vancouver, British Columbia, in early 2013 and will be growing its project team. More information, including a project backgrounder, is available at www.pacificnorthwestlng.com.

About PETRONAS
PETRONAS is the national oil and gas company of Malaysia. Incorporated in 1974 the company, ranked among the most profitable among the Fortune Global 500 entities, is engaged in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries with strategic business assets and interests in more than 30 countries. It is one of the world's leading LNG companies and is fully involved in every value chain of the LNG business, from liquefaction and shipping to re-gasification and trading. Apart from its Malaysian production facility, currently one of the world's largest, PETRONAS also owns interests in LNG assets in Australia and Egypt.

About Progress
Progress is a Canadian energy company focused on exploration, development and production of large, unconventional natural gas resources in northeast British Columbia and northwest Alberta. Progress holds the largest acreage position in the Montney shale gas play. Throughout its history, Progress has a solid track record of growing reserves, production and the underlying value of the company for its shareholders.

Advisory Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words "expect", "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "objective", "ongoing", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "plans", "intends" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information or statements. In particular, forward looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, the anticipated timing of the closing of the acquisition of Progress by PETRONAS Canada; PETRONAS Canada's plans for Progress following completion of the acquisition; plans regarding Progress' Pacific Northwest LNG project, the continued development of the Progress Montney assets and the installation of a transmission pipeline and the benefits to be obtained therefrom, including: the pace of project development; the impact of expansion on productivity and upstream efficiencies; the benefits to be obtained by the provincial and federal governments, local First Nations and communities and others as a result of the project; the timing for the final investment decision; the timing of anticipated project completion; plans to open a project office in Vancouver and the timing thereof; plans to increase the project team; estimated total project costs; and the number of jobs created for project construction and long-term operations as a result of Progress' planned LNG business.

The forward-looking statements and information are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by Progress and PETRONAS, including, among other things, expectations and assumptions concerning prevailing commodity prices and exchange rates, applicable credits, royalty rates and tax laws; the performance of existing wells; the success obtained in drilling new wells; the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out planned activities; receipt of all required regulatory approvals; and the availability and cost of labour and services and future operating costs. Although Progress believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward looking statements and information are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward looking statements and information because Progress can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct.

Since forward-looking statements and information address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks.  These include, but are not limited to, the risk that the Pacific Northwest LNG project is not completed on the terms described or at all; delays or changes in plans with respect to the project; failure to receive all required regulatory approvals; failure to realize the anticipated benefits of the Pacific Northwest LNG project; and changes in legislation, including but not limited to tax laws, royalties and environmental regulations; the risk that the transaction between Progress and PETRONAS may not close when planned or at all or on the terms and conditions set forth in the arrangement agreement.

Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Additional information on these and other factors that could affect the operations or financial results of Progress are included in reports on file with applicable securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com).

Management has included the above summary of assumptions and risks related to forward-looking information provided in this press release in order to provide security holders with a more complete perspective on Progress' future operations in respect of the Pacific Northwest LNG project and such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. Progress' actual results, performance or achievement and the benefits to be derived from the project could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that Progress and others will derive there from. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing lists of factors are not exhaustive. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and Progress disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE: Progress Energy Resources Corp.