Meridian Resource Drills 5th Successful Well in Louisiana

The Meridian Resource Corporation has reached total depth at its Biloxi Marshlands No. 18-1 well at a measured depth ("MD") of 9,956 feet. Electric logs have been run and indicate potential pay in two separate sand sections including the targeted Cris "I" sands and the middle Rob "L" sands. The Cris "I" sands were the primary objective and encountered gross pay between 8,380 feet and 8,503 feet, or an overall gross interval of 123 feet MD and extends Meridian's exploration efforts approximately four miles to the north of the Company's current wells and production facilities. Quality and thickness of the Cris "I" sands were similar to those of the initial wells currently on production at initial rates from 11.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (Mmcf/d) up to 27.5 Mmcf/d each. The production from this well will require construction of additional pipeline and production facilities which have been underway for several weeks.

The middle Rob "L" sands were encountered at a gross interval between approximately 9,364 feet and 9,473 feet with an additional overall gross section of approximately 109 feet of potential pay. The Rob "L" sands have been found to be productive in the region specifically in the Lake Borgne field approximately five miles west on trend with Meridian's Biloxi Marshlands No. 18-1 well. The Company will set casing in the well and will test the middle Rob "L" interval. If successful, this could expand the development of the slightly deeper Rob "L" sands in addition to the Cris "I" sands that have proven productive on Meridian's Biloxi Marshland acreage position. There can be no assurances that this test will be successful or that this section will be productive.

The Biloxi Marshlands No. 18-1 well is the fifth successful well in the Company's Biloxi Marshlands project area to encounter commercial production. Production could begin as early as November 2003. Meridian holds a 93% working interest in the well and is the operator of the field.

The Biloxi Marshlands Project area targets the prolific Cris "I" sands which the Company believes have been under-drilled and under-exploited until recent discoveries in the area. Meridian has options and leases comprising approximately 200,000 acres in its Biloxi Marshland Project and plans to continue shooting additional 3-D seismic surveys in the area covering all of its acreage plus approximately 200,000 additional acres of state water bottoms for an approximate total of up to 500 square miles of new proprietary 3-D seismic data.

In further operations, the Company also announced that the tests results on the East Lake Arthur - Hughes No. 2 well indicated that the well was not commercial in this well bore and is making plans to cease further operations and expenditures on this project.

Meridian maintains its exploration and exploitation focus searching for new reserves in the south Louisiana and south Texas Gulf Coast regions. The Company believes that its exploration strategy will result in plays similar to its Biloxi Marshlands Project area and its Thornwell field in west Louisiana, both of which utilize 3-D seismic to identify potential hydrocarbon indicators for shallower, higher-confidence, multiple-well plays.