Transmeridian Exploration Hires Four Rigs for South Alibek Field

Transmeridian Exploration Incorporated has signed contracts with Sun Drilling LLP for the provision of three drilling rigs and one completion rig in the South Alibek Field in Kazakhstan.

The drilling rigs all are rated to at least 4,000 meters depth, and the completion rig is equipped with a rotary table and capable of 24-hour operation. Two of the drilling rigs will concentrate on exploiting the KT-2 horizon, while the third rig will also be utilized to drill wells in the shallower KT-1 reservoir. The rigs are all western-type rigs of modern design, with state-of-the-art solids control equipment.

The completion rig is expected to arrive on location as early as May 7 and the first drilling rig in mid-May. The other two drilling rigs are expected to arrive in June and August, respectively. The contracts are for a one-year term, and the Company has a right of first refusal with respect to any additional Sun rigs that become available in Kazakhstan during the term of the contracts.

"I am extremely pleased to report these new contracts to our stockholders. Together with the Great Wall rig that arrived in January, we now have contracted six total rigs for the field," stated Lorrie T. Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transmeridian. "Procuring these rigs has put us in better position to reach our stated goal of drilling 12 new wells in 2006 and achieving production of at least 10,000 barrels per day by year end."

Transmeridian Exploration Incorporated (TMEI) is an independent energy company established to acquire and develop oil reserves in the Caspian Sea region of the former Soviet Union. TMEI primarily targets medium-sized fields with proved or probable reserves and significant upside reserve potential. Its first major project is the South Alibek Field in Kazakhstan and it is currently pursuing additional projects in the Caspian Sea and surrounding regions.