Gastar Exploration Ltd. Announces a Normal Course Issuer Bid

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, UNITED STATES

MT. PLEASANT, Mich., July 31, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Gastar Exploration Ltd. (the "Corporation") (TSE:YGA) announces that on July 31, 2002 it will commence a normal course issuer bid (the "Bid"). The Corporation intends to acquire up to 4,913,163 (approximately 5%) of its issued and outstanding common shares, being the maximum number of shares it is permitted to acquire pursuant to a normal course issued bid under applicable securities legislation. The Corporation currently has 98,263,261 common shares issued and outstanding. The Bid will expire on the earlier of July 30, 2003 or the date upon which the Corporation acquires the maximum number of common shares subject to the Bid.

Under the Bid, the Corporation will acquire, from time to time, its common shares for cash through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Any common shares purchased under the Bid will be cancelled. The Corporation established a trading account with Leede Financial Markets Inc., 2300, 777-8th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3R5 for this purpose. For any particular trade, the Corporation will not purchase common shares at a price higher than the price of the immediately preceding trade on the open market by independent parties.

In the view of the board of directors of the Corporation, the common shares of the Corporation are undervalued on the market and purchases of the Corporation's common shares at or near the current market price would be advantageous to shareholders of the Corporation.

No director or senior officer intends to accept the Bid and, to the best knowledge, information and belief of the Corporation, after reasonable inquire, no: (i) associate of a directors of senior officer of the Corporation, (ii) person holding 10% or more of any class of equity security of the Corporation or (iii) person acting jointly or in concert with the Corporation, intends to accept the Bid.

Geostar Corporation, the controlling shareholder of the Corporation, has advised Gastar that it intends to increase its share ownership in the Corporation through purchases of common shares of Gastar through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange. It is Gastar's understanding that these purchases will be conducted on an exempt basis in that such purchases will not exceed 5% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Gastar over a twelve (12) month period.

Management is not aware of any material changes in the business or affairs of the Corporation.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although Gastar believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its goals and assumptions will be achieved. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements contained herein, include, among others, the success and timing of certain projects, the success in drilling and producing oil and gas properties, changes in commodity prices for oil and natural gas, operating risks and other risk factors as described in the Company's Annual Information Form as filed on May 17, 2001, on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) at


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