Houston Exploration Sells Part of its Gulf of Mexico Assets

The Houston Exploration Company has signed a purchase and sale agreement to divest of the Texas portion of the company's Gulf of Mexico assets for a purchase price of $220 million in cash, subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction, which is with a private operator, is expected to close on March 31, 2006, and has an effective date of January 1, 2006.

As announced in November 2005, Houston Exploration is in the process of implementing a strategic shift in its operations to focus its efforts in onshore U.S. basins. At year-end 2005, the Texas portion of the company's Gulf of Mexico proved reserves were estimated at 58.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

Wachovia Securities is serving as the financial adviser to the company in connection with the sale of the Gulf of Mexico assets.

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