Meridian Contracts Terrex for Seismic, Contemplates Australian JV

Meridian Petroleum offered the following updates on their Australian ventures: Following the decision to shoot seismic over the PEL 82 license, Meridian has tendered the contract to Terrex Seismic and expects their response shortly on cost and timing (anticipated Q1 2009).

The Company has noted the considerable level of interest in Australian gas reserves recently with major companies such as Shell, Petronas and BG Group looking to invest in reserves. Meridian is therefore re-evaluating our options for the PEL 132 license in the Arrowie basin which contains the Delores gas prospect. Whilst prepared to consider proceeding independently with plans for this prospect, the increased interest in Australian gas may provide an opportunity for the company to secure a partial sale or farm-out of the license on attractive terms and will fully consider any such opportunities.

"Orion has delivered excellent cash-flow to the company over the past 6 months, enabling us to contemplate options which were not affordable a few months ago," said Chairman Stephen Gutteridge. "Over the same period we have seen significant increases in oil and gas prices which are changing perceptions of value and opportunity. An example of this is Australia, which is becoming a particularly exciting opportunity for Meridian, and where we are now in a strong enough position to consider retention of 100% of the value for our shareholders and to only consider sales and farm-outs which fully value those assets."