SOURCE: Aspen Exploration Corporation

January 23, 2006 12:09 ET

Aspen Exploration Commences 2006 Drilling Season With Successful Gas Well

Commences Gas Sales From Eighth New Well Drilled in 2005

DENVER, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 23, 2006 -- Aspen Exploration Corporation (OTC BB: ASPN), with offices in Bakersfield, California, and Denver, Colorado, announced today the commencement of the 2006 drilling season with a gas discovery in the Sacramento Valley gas province of northern California.

The Merrill #31-2 well located in the Malton Black Butte Field, Tehama County, California, was drilled to a depth of 2,450 feet and encountered approximately 40 feet of potential gas pay in the Lower Kione formation. Production casing was run based on favorable mud log and electric log responses. This well also encountered approximately 100 gross feet of partially depleted gas sand in the Upper Kione formation, which yielded valuable data regarding the possibility of drilling a future underbalanced horizontal well in this zone. The Upper Kione is a prolific gas producing zone in this area. Aspen has a 31% operated working interest in this well.

The WGU #15-10 well located in the West Grimes Gas Field, Colusa County, California, was directionally drilled to a depth of 8,520 feet (7,975 feet TVD) and encountered potential gas pay in the Forbes formation. The Forbes interval was perforated and commenced gas sales a flow rate of 140 MCFPD. Aspen has a 21% operated working interest in this well.

Aspen drilled ten successful gas wells out of ten attempts in 2004 for a 100% success rate, and nine gas wells out of ten attempts in 2005. During the last 5 years, Aspen has participated in the drilling of 35 operated wells, 31 of which were completed as gas wells, and 4 dry holes which were plugged and abandoned, a success rate of 89%. Aspen currently operates 54 gas wells and has non-operated interests in 15 additional wells in the Sacramento Valley of northern California, and has an exciting drilling program planned for 2006. Gas prices in northern California (PG&E Citygate Price), which Aspen has been paid for its gas, have been in the range of $8.00 per MMBTU to $10.50 per MMBTU for the past three months.

Future news releases will keep shareholders informed of Aspen's continuing progress and drilling activity. Aspen's stock is quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol ASPN.OB. For more information concerning Aspen, contact Bob Cohan, President and CEO, in Aspen's Bakersfield office at (661) 831-4669. Aspen's web page can be found at


This news release contains information that is "forward-looking" in that it describes events and conditions which Aspen Exploration Corporation ("Aspen") reasonably expects to occur in the future. Expectations for the future performance of the business of Aspen are dependent upon a number of factors, and there can be no assurance that Aspen will achieve the results as contemplated herein and there can be no assurance that Aspen will be able to conduct its operations or production from its properties will continue as contemplated herein. Certain statements contained in this report using the terms "may," "expects to," and other terms denoting future possibilities, are forward-looking statements. The accuracy of these statements cannot be guaranteed as they are subject to a variety of risks which are beyond Aspen's ability to predict or control and which may cause actual results to differ materially from the projections or estimates contained herein. These risks include, but are not limited to: the possibility that the described operations (including any proposed exploration or development drilling) will not be completed on economic terms, if at all, or the estimates of reserves may not be accurate. The exploration for, and development and production of, oil and gas are enterprises attendant with high risk, including the risk of fluctuating prices for oil and natural gas, imports of petroleum products from other countries, the risks of not encountering adequate resources despite expending large sums of money, and the risk that test results and reserve estimates may not be accurate, notwithstanding appropriate precautions. Many of these risks are described herein and in Aspen's annual report on Form 10-KSB, and it is important that each person reviewing this report understand the significant risks attendant to the operations of Aspen. Aspen disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement made herein.

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