Penn West announces appointment of new President and Chief Executive Officer, operational improvement and capital efficiencies

Penn West announces appointment of new President and Chief Executive Officer,
    operational improvement and capital efficiencies drive, initiation of
        corporate strategic review and a change to its dividend policy

PR Newswire

CALGARY, June 4, 2013

Appointment of new President and Chief Executive Officer

CALGARY, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD. (TSX - PWT; NYSE
- PWE)  ("PENN WEST"  or "the  Company") announced  today that  Murray  Nunns, 
President and Chief Executive Officer, has informed the Board of Directors  of 
his intention to retire  from Penn West effective  July 1, 2013 after  serving 
the Company for more than 8 years.

"Mr. Nunns has made  a significant contribution to  Penn West since he  joined 
Penn West's Board  in 2005,"  said Rick George,  Chairman of  the Board.  "The 
Board would like to thank Murray for his contributions to the Company both  as 
a Board  member  and  most  recently as  the  President  and  Chief  Executive 
Officer. He has had a distinguished career lasting more than 30 years in  the 
oil and gas industry and we wish him well in his retirement." Concurrent with
his departure, Mr. Nunns will also be resigning from the Board of Directors of
Penn West.

David Roberts, former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer  of 
Marathon Oil Corporation, has agreed to terms of employment and will begin his
new role as President and Chief  Executive Officer commencing June 19,  2013. 
Dave brings more than 30 years  of operational experience in the upstream  oil 
and gas business and his  knowledge and successes on  such a very large  scale 
make him a welcome addition to the  senior management team at Penn West.  The 
Board intends  to appoint  Mr. Roberts  to the  Board on  commencement of  his 
employment.

Mr. Roberts also served as Marathon's Executive Vice President Upstream for  a 
number of  years after  joining  Marathon in  2006  as Senior  Vice  President 
Business   Development.    He   previously    served   as    Executive    Vice 
President/Managing Director for BG Group plc with responsibility for Asia  and 
the Middle East. Prior to joining BG  Group, he served as advisor to the  Vice 
Chairman of ChevronTexaco  Corporation from  2001 to 2003,  where he  provided 
strategic  and  operational  advice  to  executive  management  regarding  the 
company's upstream operations. Dave built his early skills with Texaco, where
he held a number of  key operational and strategic  planning roles over an  18 
year period.

"Dave brings a unique blend of operating field experience, strategic  thinking 
at  a  very  high  level  as  well  as  knowledge  of  critical  new  industry 
technology. The entire Board is looking forward to working with Dave to drive
Penn West forward," said George.

Operational Improvements
The Company, under  a new Board  and a new  CEO, will focus  on operating  the 
business in  a  more  efficient manner,  significantly  reducing  General  and 
Administrative  expenses  as  well  as  field  operating  costs.  Mr.  George 
commented, 'We will be looking for a huge step change in both where capital is
spent as well as  the efficiency of each  dollar invested". The Company  will 
focus its efforts  on execution across  the board, maximizing  the use of  its 
mid-stream assets  and  improving the  netbacks  it receives  on  each  barrel 
produced.

"We will  be reviewing  all staffing  levels and  while these  are never  easy 
decisions, and we appreciate the efforts of each and every employee, we expect
to start by reducing staffing levels by  10 percent over the next few  weeks," 
George said.

Corporate Strategic Review
Penn West's  Board of  Directors  will form  a  Special Committee  to  explore 
strategic alternatives. The Special Committee will consider all  alternatives 
to increase  shareholder value,  including strategic  financing  alternatives, 
asset  divestments,  joint  ventures  and/or  other  business   combinations. 
Although strategy review is always an  ongoing activity for all companies,  we 
expect this concentrated effort will be completed by year end. "Penn West has
many high quality  assets but  the Company has  yet to  unlock their  complete 
value. The Board is focused on  maximizing value for all shareholders,"  said 
Mr. George.

Dividend Reduction to Strengthen Financial Flexibility
Penn West  also  announces  that  its  Board has  approved  a  change  to  its 
dividend. Effective for  its third  quarter, Penn  West's quarterly  dividend 
will be reduced to $0.14 per common  share from $0.27 per common share.  This 
measure will provide  Penn West  with increased financial  flexibility, and  a 
sustainable dividend, as it continues  to improve operating performance.  The 
second quarter dividend of $0.27 per common share will be paid as declared  on 
May 1, 2013 to shareholders of record on June 28, 2013.

Penn West confirms that its full  year production and capital guidance  remain 
unchanged.

Penn West shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PWT
and on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PWE.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements  contained  in  this  document  constitute  forward-looking 
statements or information  (collectively "forward-looking statements")  within 
the  meaning  of  the  "safe  harbour"  provisions  of  applicable  securities 
legislation. In particular, this document contains forward-looking  statements 
pertaining to,  without limitation,  the following:  Mr. Nunns'  intention  to 
retire as President and Chief Executive Officer and resign as a member of  the 
Board of Penn  West and  the timing thereof;  Penn West's  appointment of  Mr. 
Roberts as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the  Board 
and the timing thereof; the intention of the Company to focus on operating the
business in  a more  efficient  manner and  significantly reduce  general  and 
administrative expenses as well as field operating costs; the intention of the
Company to focus its efforts on execution across the board, maximizing the use
of its mid-stream assets  and improving netbacks;  the Company's intention  to 
reduce staffing levels by 10 percent over the next few weeks; the intention of
Penn West's Board to form a Special Committee to consider all alternatives  to 
increase shareholder value, including strategic financing alternatives,  asset 
divestments,  joint   ventures  and/or   other  business   combinations;   the 
expectation that the Special Committee's concentrated review will be completed
by year end; Penn West's intention  to reduce its quarterly dividend to  $0.14 
per common share starting  in the third quarter  of 2013; and the  expectation 
that the  reduced dividend  will provide  Penn West  with increased  financial 
flexibility and a sustainable dividend, while the Company focuses on improving
operating performance. With respect to forward-looking statements contained in
this document, we have made assumptions regarding, among other things:  future 
crude oil,  natural  gas liquids  and  natural gas  prices  and  differentials 
between light, medium  and heavy oil  prices and Canadian,  WTI and world  oil 
prices; future  capital  expenditure levels;  future  crude oil,  natural  gas 
liquids and natural gas production  levels; drilling results; future  exchange 
rates and interest rates; the amount  of future cash dividends that we  intend 
to pay and the level of  participation in our dividend reinvestment plan;  our 
ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms; our ability to add production
and reserves through our development and exploitation activities; and the time
required for  the Special  Committee  to conduct  its concentrated  review  of 
strategic alternatives. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in
the forward-looking statements contained in this document, and the assumptions
on which such forward-looking statements  are made, are reasonable, there  can 
be no assurance that such expectations  will prove to be correct. Readers  are 
cautioned not to place undue  reliance on forward-looking statements  included 
in this document, as there can be  no assurance that the plans, intentions  or 
expectations upon which the forward-looking  statements are based will  occur. 
By their  nature,  forward-looking statements  involve  numerous  assumptions, 
known and unknown risks and  uncertainties that contribute to the  possibility 
that  the  predictions,  forecasts,  projections  and  other   forward-looking 
statements will  not  occur,  which  may  cause  our  actual  performance  and 
financial results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or
projections of  future performance  or results  expressed or  implied by  such 
forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other
things: the risk that  we are unable to  improve our operational  efficiencies 
and reduce our general  and administrative expenses and  operating costs in  a 
meaningful way; the risk that we are unable to improve our netbacks; the  risk 
that reducing our staffing  levels will increase our  costs in the near  term; 
the risk that our exploration of strategic alternatives does not result in  an 
increase in  shareholder value;  the  risk that  our  new dividend  policy  is 
ultimately not sustainable and that quarterly dividends are further reduced or
eliminated entirely; general economic and political conditions in Canada,  the 
U.S. and globally; industry conditions, including fluctuations in the price of
oil and natural gas, price differentials  for crude oil produced in Canada  as 
compared to other markets, and transportation restrictions; royalties  payable 
in respect of our oil and natural gas production and changes thereto;  changes 
in government  regulation  of the  oil  and natural  gas  industry,  including 
environmental regulation; fluctuations in foreign exchange or interest  rates; 
unanticipated  operating  events  or  environmental  events  that  can  reduce 
production or cause production to be shut-in or delayed, including wild  fires 
and  flooding;  changes  in  tax  and  other  laws  that  affect  us  and  our 
securityholders; changes  in  government  royalty frameworks;  and  the  other 
factors described  in our  public filings  (including our  Annual  Information 
Form) available  in  Canada at  www.sedar.com  and  in the  United  States  at 
www.sec.gov. Readers are cautioned that this  list of risk factors should  not 
be construed as exhaustive. The forward-looking statements contained in  this 
document speak  only as  of the  date of  this document.  Except as  expressly 
required by applicable securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation  to 
publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a  result 
of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements
contained  in  this  document  are  expressly  qualified  by  this  cautionary 
statement.

SOURCE Penn West Exploration

Contact:

PENN WEST EXPLORATION
Penn West Plaza
Suite 200, 207 - 9^th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 1K3

Phone: 403-777-2500
Fax: 403-777-2699
Toll Free: 1-866-693-2707
Website:www.pennwest.com

Investor Relations:
Toll Free: 1-888-770-2633
E-mail:investor_relations@pennwest.com

Rick George, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Phone: 587-353-3340
E-mail:rgeorge@novoinvestmentgroup.com

Clayton Paradis, Manager, Investor Relations
Phone: 403-539-6343
E-mail:clayton.paradis@pennwest.com
 
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