Aspen Kicks Off 2006 with Successful Gas Well

Aspen Exploration has begun the 2006 drilling season with a gas discovery in the Sacramento Valley gas province of northern California.

The Merrill #31-2 well located in the Malton Black Butte Field, Tehama County, California, was drilled to a depth of 2,450 feet and encountered approximately 40 feet of potential gas pay in the Lower Kione formation. Production casing was run based on favorable mud log and electric log responses. This well also encountered approximately 100 gross feet of partially depleted gas sand in the Upper Kione formation, which yielded valuable data regarding the possibility of drilling a future underbalanced horizontal well in this zone. The Upper Kione is a prolific gas producing zone in this area. Aspen has a 31% operated working interest in this well.

The WGU #15-10 well located in the West Grimes Gas Field, Colusa County, California, was directionally drilled to a depth of 8,520 feet (7,975 feet TVD) and encountered potential gas pay in the Forbes formation. The Forbes interval was perforated and commenced gas sales a flow rate of 140 MCFPD. Aspen has a 21% operated working interest in this well.

Aspen drilled ten successful gas wells out of ten attempts in 2004 for a 100% success rate, and nine gas wells out of ten attempts in 2005. During the last 5 years, Aspen has participated in the drilling of 35 operated wells, 31 of which were completed as gas wells, and 4 dry holes which were plugged and abandoned, a success rate of 89%. Aspen currently operates 54 gas wells and has non-operated interests in 15 additional wells in the Sacramento Valley of northern California, and has an exciting drilling program planned for 2006. Gas prices in northern California (PG&E Citygate Price), which Aspen has been paid for its gas, have been in the range of $8.00 per MMBTU to $10.50 per MMBTU for the past three months.