Stone Energy Sets Budget of $240 Million for 2003

Stone Energy's 2003 capital expenditures budget of approximately $240 million includes the plan to drill 50 gross wells with an estimated cost of approximately $174 million. In order to increase the company's exposure to significant reserves a budget for 28 gross exploratory wells is set for 2003. Of these wells, six will target hydrocarbons deeper than 14,000 feet. Stone has increased budgeted expenditures and the number of wells planned for 2003 to access quality projects that have been under study since acquisition in December 2001. We plan to finance our capital expenditures budget with operating cash flow.

Currently, 87% of the 2003 capital expenditures budget is allocated to Gulf Coast Basin operations with approximately 30% of the estimated budget dedicated to operations on the properties acquired in December 2001. Approximately $117 million of the 2003 budget is dedicated to drilling for new reserves, while approximately 28% is allocated to workovers, recompletions and the development of proved reserves. Consistent with the company's budgeting practices, the 2003 capital expenditures budget excludes acquisition costs, capitalized interest and general and administrative expenses. Stone will continue to evaluate opportunities that fit our specific acquisition profile.