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La Cortez Energy Announces Commencement Of Drilling Operations For The Agapanto-1 Well In The Maranta Block

BOGOTA, Colombia, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- La Cortez Energy, Inc., ("La Cortez") (OTC: LCTZ) is pleased to announce that Emerald Energy Plc. ("Emerald"), the operator of the Maranta Block where La Cortez holds a 20% working interest, has commenced drilling operations for the Agapanto-1 exploratory well. Agapanto-1 is the third exploration well to be drilled on the Maranta Block, and is expected to fulfill the first phase of the two-phase exploration program.

The Agapanto-1 well spudded on August 9, 2012, and is expected to reach a total depth of 11,500 ft. The well is being vertically drilled in order to evaluate the Villeta N, U and T sands. The Agapanto well is an exploratory well being drilled adjacent to the existing producing Mirto structure, and will be targeting the potential of the currently producing N sand (16 ⁰API), and further evaluating the potential of the U and T sands that were not properly tested in the previous wells (Mirto-1 and Mirto-2) due to both mechanical and isolation difficulties.

The Maranta block is located in the foreland of the Putumayo Basin in southwest Colombia. Emerald originally signed the E&P contract with the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos ("ANH") on September 12th, 2006. The company's original interest in the Maranta block covered an area of 90,459 acres (36,608 hectares), which was reduced to 45,230 acres after contractual relinquishment of a portion of the exploration area on August 24, 2010, a procedure that is currently being processed within ANH protocols.

Final assignment of the 20% participation interest in this block is subject to final approval of the ANH.

La Cortez Energy, Inc.

La Cortez Energy, Inc. is a development stage oil and gas exploration and production company currently pursuing a business strategy in the energy sector in South America, with an initial focus on identifying oil and gas exploration and production opportunities in Colombia. To that end, the company has established a headquarters office in Bogota, Colombia, and has entered into several joint venture agreements; including a 50% working interest in the Putumayo-4 block and a 20% working interest in the Maranta block. The Putumayo-4 and Maranta blocks are located in the prolific Putumayo Basin in Southwestern Colombia. Assignment of the working interest agreements is subject to the approval of the ANH.

In early 2010, La Cortez acquired the 100% interests of Avante Colombia, Inc. in the Rio de Oro and the Puerto Barco fields located in the Catatumbo Basin in Northeastern Colombia. Avante Colombia currently has a 50% participation interest in, and is the operator of, the Rio de Oro and Puerto Barco production contracts with Ecopetrol S.A. Through this acquisition the company's net acreage position in the Catatumbo Basin now totals 5,768 acres (11,535 acres gross). 

The Company's joint venture agreements have been signed with experienced, established producers in Colombia, including Sinochem (Emerald Energy PLC – Sucursal Colombia), Petroleos del Norte S.A. a subsidiary of Petrolatina Energy PLC, and Vetra Exploracion y Produccion Colombia, Inc. The company is currently producing from both of its two initial exploration wells in the Maranta Block.

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