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Meridian Announces Two New Discoveries; Updates Property Sale Activity.

Business/Energy Editors

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 15, 2000

The Meridian Resource Corporation (NYSE:TMR) today announced the test results of two new exploration wells recently completed in the Thornwell Field, Jefferson Davis Parish, La. Based on production tests conducted on the Lacassane 33-2 and the Guidry 16-1 ST wells, it is expected that the gross (8/8ths) production rate from the field will increase to approximately 85 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) after the two wells are turned into the sales line (approximately May 15, 2000). To date, Meridian and its partners have successfully drilled ten wells in the field since its discovery in November 1998.

The Lacassane 33-2 well tested the Marg. Idi sand from 91 feet of perforations between 11,732 feet and 11,859 feet at a gross flow rate of 14.9 MMcfd plus 739 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) at a flowing tubing pressure (FTP) of 7,215 psi on a 18/64th-inch choke; shut in tubing pressure (SITP) was 7,803 psi.

The Guidry 16-1 ST tested a separate accumulation in the Marg. Idi sand from 67 net feet of perforations in the gross interval between 11,506 feet and 11,608 feet. The flow rate was gauged at 14.6 MMcfd plus 201 BOPD at 5,225 psi FTP on a 20/64th- inch choke; SITP was 5,800 psi. Collectively, the new completions totaled an increase to the field production of 29.5 MMcfd and 940 BOPD, or 7.6 MMcfe/d net to Meridian's interest, bringing the Company's total net production from the field to 17.6 MMcfe/d.

Meridian and its partners, Manti Operating Company and Enron North America Corp., who each hold approximately 30% of the working interests in the area, have moved the drilling rig to the nearby Guidry No. 28-1 well which is now drilling below 10,000 feet. Additional wells are expected in the Thornwell area during the remainder of the year.

In other areas, Meridian holds approximately a 27% working interest in the UPRC South Timbalier Block 139 No. 2 well which is currently drilling below 17,700 feet with a target depth of 18,250 feet. The well is testing additional amplitude related objectives deeper than the producing zones in the ST Blk 139 No. 1 well. In Turtle Bayou, drilling is proceeding below 14,500 at the CL&F No. 59 well (97% working interest) with a target depth of 16,000 feet in the Cris. I. aged "LL" sand. Additional exploration activity is expected to begin in Weeks Island in early June with the commencement of drilling at the Brett prospect (72% initial working interest), a 6,500 foot test for normally pressured oil sands trapped against the salt on the north side of the field.

The property divestitures previously announced are proceeding on schedule. Sales of two property packages have been completed and others are anticipated following the completion of contract negotiations and Due Diligence. Proceeds are being applied to reduction of the Company's bank debt and building cash reserves. The Company does not anticipate announcing the results of the sales until all of the sales are complete.

Certain of the foregoing statements may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although Meridian believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual future activities and results to be materially different from those suggested or described in this press release. These include risks inherent in the drilling of oil and natural gas wells, including risks of fire, explosion, blowout, pipe failure, casing collapse, unusual or unexpected formation pressures, environmental hazards and other operating and production risks inherent in oil and natural gas drilling and production activities, which may temporarily or permanently reduce production or cause initial production or test results to not be indicative of future well performance or delay the timing of sales or completion of drilling operations, risks with respect to oil and natural gas prices, a material decline in which could cause the company to delay or suspend planned drilling operations or reduce production levels, and risks relating to the availability of capital to fund drilling operations which can be adversely affected by adverse drilling results, production declines and declines in oil and gas prices.

The Meridian Resource Corporation is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the exploration for and development of oil and natural gas properties utilizing 3-D seismic technology, primarily in south Louisiana, southeast Texas and offshore Gulf of Mexico. Meridian's office is located in Houston and the stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TMR."
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2000
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