Gastar Exploration Ltd. Provides Update on Belin Trust A-1 Well

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, UNITED STATES


MT. PLEASANT, Mich., March 7, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Gastar Exploration, Ltd. (TSE Venture Exchange:YGA) announced today that it has been forced to plug and abandon the Belin Trust A-1 well in Leon County, Texas due to a mechanical failure at approximately 14,500 feet and potential safety issues.

The Belin Trust well, originally operated by Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) with Gastar initially as a minority working interest owner, was drilled to a total depth of 20,946 feet making it one of the deepest Bossier wells drilled to date. The well encountered several potential zones that Gastar and its partners believed were prospective for natural gas production in the Deep Bossier, Cotton Valley and Travis Peak formations. After reaching total depth in March 2002, Anadarko unsuccessfully attempted several completions. In January 2003, Gastar acquired from Anadarko its rights to the Belin Trust A-1 well in the zones from 17,500 feet in depth to 20,946 and First Source Texas, Inc., a working interest owner and an affiliate of Geostar Corporation, took over as Operator of the well.

Frederick "Gene" Beck, PhD, Vice President of Operations, commented, "When we took over operations on the Belin Trust A-1 we knew that it would be a technical challenge to establish commercial production in the well, especially since the prior operator, who has extensive experience in the Bossier, had made numerous attempts to do so without success. However, we were able to identify several factors that were preventing the well from delivering a good test, and once we corrected those factors, one interval in the Bossier Formation, the C Sand, was briefly tested at over 5 million cubic feet of pipeline quality gas per day. It is unfortunate that the mechanical condition of the wellbore prevented us from conducting a longer term test on this interval and on other Bossier intervals, but I am never-the-less very encouraged by the results of our operations on the Belin Trust A-1. The knowledge gained from working in this wellbore will allow us to perfect our well and completion designs for future wells, and we have proven our ability to recognize and exploit prospective pay intervals in this particular part of the Bossier."

Gastar's COO, J. Russell Porter, added, "While we are very disappointed that the poor mechanical condition of the Belin well we inherited prevented the well from producing the Deep Bossier gas or the shallower pays encountered in the Cotton Valley and Travis Peak formations, we remain extremely encouraged by the results of the tests that were completed within the Belin well. Our staff believes that the existence of reservoir quality permeable sands and pipeline quality gas have been confirmed within the deep Bossier depositional setting. Based on Gastar's seismically defined, geologic model, we believe that thicker and higher quality reservoir formations can be found on Gastar's majority owned Bossier leasehold acreage. The likelihood that these potential reservoirs cover a large portion of Gastar's leasehold is very meaningful. We are currently planning the drilling of another Deep Bossier well to test the deep Bossier formation in an area where the seismic data indicates numerous thick potential reservoirs."

Gastar Exploration is an exploration and production company focused on finding and developing natural gas in North America and Australia. The Company pursues a balanced strategy combining low-risk CBM development with select higher risk, deep natural gas exploration prospects. Gastar's CBM activities are conducted within the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and upon the approximate 4 million acres controlled by Gastar in Australia's Gunnedah and Gippsland Basins located in New South Wales and Victoria respectively. The Company owns prospective acreage in the Bossier Sand gas play of East Texas, in the deep Trenton-Black River play in the Appalachian Basin and in the deep Temblor gas play in the East Lost Hills field within the San Joaquin Basin of California.

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 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, the uncertainty associated with estimating underground quantities of crude oil and natural gas reserves and other risk factors as described in the Company's Annual Information Form filed as of May 2002, on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) at www.sedar.com.

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

Contact Information: Gastar Exploration, Ltd. (TSE:YGA), 2480 West Campus Drive, Bldg C, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 (989) 773-7050, FAX (989) 773-0006, Attention: J. Russell Porter or Victor W. Hughes, Jr.

E-Mail:rporter@gastar.com or vhughes@gastar.com Web Site:www.gastar.com


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